The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 21, 2013

Empire District reports uptick in income, EPS

From staff reports

— The Empire District Electric Co. recently reported net income for the quarter that ended Dec. 31 of $9.6 million, or 23 cents per share, compared with net income of $8.7 million, or 21 cents per share, for the same period one year earlier.

Electric revenue for the fourth quarter came to $114.1 million, while natural gas revenue came to $13.3 million. That compares to electric revenue of $118 million and gas revenue of $13.1 million for the comparable quarter a year earlier.

Other revenue came to $1.7 million in both quarters, the company reported.

For the full year, Empire also reported revenue of $55.7 million, or $1.32 per share, compared to $54.9 million, or $1.31 per share in 2011.

Electric revenue for 2012 came to $510.7 million, compared to $524.3 million in 2011. The Joplin-based utility also reported lower electric fuel and purchases power costs in 2012, down to $178.9 million in 2012 from $200.3 million a year earlier.

Natural gas revenue was $39.8 million in 2012, compared to $46.4 million in 2011.

Other company revenue came to $6.6 million last year, versus $6.2 million in 2011.

According to the Joplin-based utility’s quarterly and year-end statement, results for 2012 were positively affected by increased electric gross margins, improving customer counts and a full year of higher electric rates that were approved by the Missouri Public Service Commission in the summer of 2011.

Milder weather in 2012 compared to 2011 offset some gains.

Empire officials also said they expect 2013 earnings to be within the range of $1.26 to $1.43 per share.

Empire dividend

The board of directors of The Empire District Electric Co. recently declared a quarterly dividend of 25 cents per share on common stock payable March 15 to shareholders of record as of March 1.