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Empire District ends 4Q, fiscal year ahead of prior reports

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Joplin-based Empire District Electric Co. (NYSE: EDE) ended fiscal 2010 with strong fourth-quarter results, leading the company to more successful year-end figures than in fiscal 2009.

Empire District's fourth-quarter net income was $8.5 million, a 6.7 percent increase compared to fourth-quarter 2009 net income of $8 million, according to a Feb. 3 news release.

Earnings per share, however, decreased 2 cents to 20 cents compared to 4Q 2009.

Fourth-quarter highlights:
  • Total revenues were $132.8 million, a 9.9 percent increase from fourth-quarter 2009 revenues of $120.9 million.
  • Empire District's electricity sector made up the bulk of fourth-quarter revenue, with $116.9 million. Natural gas revenue was $14.4 million. Electricity revenue increased from fourth-quarter 2009, but gas revenue decreased. The net income, however, showed increases for both revenue streams in the fourth-quarter.
  • The company's other income and deductions category reduced net income by approximately $1.9 million, due mostly to a reduction in the equity component of construction funding.
Empire District ended fiscal 2010 with $47.4 million in net income, a 14.8 percent increase from fiscal 2009 net income of $41.3 million.

Earnings per share were $1.17 in fiscal 2010, compared to $1.18 earnings per share in fiscal 2009.

Year-end revenues:
  • Total: $541.3 million, compared to $497.2 million in fiscal 2009
  • Electric: $484.8 million, compared to FY 2009 results of $434.9 million
  • Gas: $50.9 million, compared to $57.3 million in fiscal 2009
  • Other: $6.3 million, compared to $5.6 million in the previous fiscal year
In late August, the Missouri Public Service Commission approved a rate increase of about $13.03 per month to the bills of customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of energy, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.

The company filed an additional rate increase request in late-September.

Empire District's fourth-quarter and year-end earnings report was released alongside the retirement announcement of CEO Bill Gipson, who will relinquish his post May 31.

Empire District sells regulated electric, gas and water utilities to approximately 215,000 customers in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Empire District Electric Co. shares were trading at $21.51 as of 11 a.m., compared to a 52-week range of $17.57 to $22.50.[[In-content Ad]]

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