NEWARK, Del., Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Artesian Resources Corporation (NASDAQ: ARTNA) today announced that revenues for the third quarter of 2011 were $17.7 million, down slightly from $18.0 million in revenues recorded for the third quarter in 2010. Revenues were impacted by near-record rainfall on the Delmarva Peninsula during the quarter, which lowered water consumption and offset an increase in water sales revenue resulting from a temporary rate increase in Delaware.
"We continue to diversify our business to increase our revenues from sources other than water sales," said Artesian President and CEO, Dian C. Taylor. "But, the reality is that water sales are still core to our business and when we have historically bad weather, water sales will be adversely affected."
During the third quarter, the Maryland Public Service Commission issued an order authorizing Artesian Water Maryland's exercise of its water service franchise area in the eastern part of Cecil County. Artesian is now well-positioned to provide reliable water service throughout Cecil County's growth area. Artesian already provides water service to the Town of Port Deposit through a Susquehanna River water appropriation, has a water interconnection with the Town of Elkton and provides water service in the Mountain Hill area in the western part of the county that includes the Principio Business Park and communities of Carpenters Point and Whitaker Woods.
Artesian mutually agreed with Cecil County during the third quarter to terminate agreements to purchase wastewater facilities from the county and recorded a one-time charge against income of $349,000.
Net income decreased by $659,000, to $2.24 million for the third quarter. Diluted net income per common share was $0.26, down $0.12 from the same period last year. Earnings per share was impacted by the one-time charge as well as this year's late summer near-record rainfall and the effect of an 888,290 common stock share offering in the third quarter of 2011.
Operating expenses, excluding depreciation and income taxes, for the third quarter of, 2011, increased by 3.9% to $10.0 million, compared to $9.6 million for the same period in 2010. The increase was primarily due to higher water treatment equipment maintenance costs, meter maintenance costs, fuel and personnel expenses.
"Despite the bad weather, we had many positives," Taylor said. "Our profitable Water and Sewer Service Line Protection plans continued to grow and we moved one step closer to providing end-to-end water service in Cecil County's growth area. We are committed to driving this business forward by providing safe, reliable water and superior customer service; continuously improving our efficiency and performance; and delivering sound returns for our investors."
Artesian Resources Corporation operates as the holding company of eight wholly-owned subsidiaries offering water, wastewater and engineering services on the Delmarva Peninsula. Artesian Water Company, the principal subsidiary, is the oldest and largest investor-owned public water utility on the Delmarva Peninsula, and has been providing water service since 1905.
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SOURCE Artesian Resources Corporation