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UNITIL Corp Reports Operating Results (10-Q)

October 26, 2010 | About:
10qk

10qk

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UNITIL Corp (UTL) filed Quarterly Report for the period ended 2010-09-30.

Unitil Corp has a market cap of $247.8 million; its shares were traded at around $22.79 with a P/E ratio of 27.5 and P/S ratio of 0.7. The dividend yield of Unitil Corp stocks is 6.1%.

Highlight of Business Operations:

On June 29, 2010, the NHPUC issued an order approving a temporary rate increase for Unitil Energy. The order provides for a temporary rate increase of $5.2 million (annual) effective July 1, 2010 which will be collected by applying a uniform per kilowatt-hour (kWh) surcharge of $0.00438 to each of Unitil Energys current rate schedules. Of the $5.2 million rate increase, $500,000 of the increase is intended to permit Unitil Energy to annually recover expenses incurred during the December 2008 ice storm and another $500,000 of the increase is intended to fund higher planned vegetation management program expenditures. Once permanent rates are approved by the NHPUC, they will be reconciled to the date temporary rates were ordered, July 1, 2010. Final review and approval by the NHPUC of Unitil Energys permanent base rate increase request is currently scheduled to be completed by February 2011.

The Companys Earnings (Loss) Applicable to Common Shareholders was a net loss of ($0.1) million for the third quarter of 2010, an improvement of $0.5 million compared to the third quarter of 2009. For the nine months ended September 30, 2010, the Company reported net income of $4.3 million compared to $8.7 million for the same period of 2009. Results for the third quarter were driven primarily by higher electric sales margins reflecting favorable summer weather and higher rates, partially offset by increases in operating and interest costs.

Earnings (loss) per common share (EPS) were ($0.01) and $0.40 for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2010 compared with ($0.06) and $0.94 for the same periods of 2009. The Companys results of operations for 2010 are not directly comparable with 2009 due to the issuance of 5.0 million common shares between December 2008 and June 2009 to complete the financing of the Companys acquisitions of Northern Utilities and Granite.

Interest Expense, Net increased $0.7 million and $1.0 million in the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2010, respectively, compared to the same periods in 2009. In March 2010, Unitil Energy and Northern Utilities collectively issued $40 million of long-term debt which is contributing to the higher interest expense in the three and nine month periods.

All other expenses increased $0.3 million and $0.8 million in the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2010, respectively, compared to the same periods in 2009, primarily reflecting higher property and payroll taxes.

Usource, our non-regulated energy brokering business, recorded revenues of $1.2 million and $3.4 million in the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2010, respectively, increases of $0.2 million and $0.2 million, respectively compared to the same periods of 2009. Usources revenues are primarily derived from fees and charges billed to suppliers as customers take delivery of energy from these suppliers under term contracts brokered by Usource.

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