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EX-31 - EX-31 - MIDDLESEX WATER COex31.htm
EX-21 - EX-21 - MIDDLESEX WATER COex21.htm
EX-32 - EX-32 - MIDDLESEX WATER COex32.htm
EX-31.1 - EX-31.1 - MIDDLESEX WATER COex31-1.htm
EX-32.1 - EX-32.1 - MIDDLESEX WATER COex32-1.htm
EX-23.1 - EX-23.1 - MIDDLESEX WATER COex23-1.htm
EX-10.9A - EX-10.9A - MIDDLESEX WATER COex10-9a.htm

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, DC 20549

 

FORM 10-K

(Mark One)

       þ  ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015

OR

       ¨  TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from _________________ to ______________________

Commission File Number     0-422

MIDDLESEX WATER COMPANY

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

New Jersey 22-1114430
(State of Incorporation)  (IRS employer identification no.)

 

1500 Ronson Road, Iselin New Jersey 08830

(Address of principal executive offices, including zip code)

(732) 634-1500

(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of Each Class: Name of each exchange on which registered:
Common Stock, No Par Value The  NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

Yes ¨     No þ

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.

Yes ¨     No þ

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.          Yes þ     No ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted and posted on their corporate web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrants were required to submit and post such files).           Yes þ     No ¨

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. þ

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or a smaller reporting company.

Large accelerated filer ¨          Accelerated filer þ          Non-accelerated filer ¨          Smaller reporting company ¨

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).

Yes ¨     No þ

The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant at June 30, 2015 was $364,603,131 based on the closing market price of $22.56 per share.

The number of shares outstanding for each of the registrant's classes of common stock, as of February 29, 2016:

Common Stock, No par Value 16,229,682 shares outstanding

 

Documents Incorporated by Reference

Proxy Statement to be filed in connection with the Registrant’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on May 24, 2016, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of the end of our 2015 fiscal year, is incorporated by reference into Part III.

 

 

MIDDLESEX WATER COMPANY

FORM 10-K

 

INDEX

    PAGE
Forward-Looking Statements 1
     
PART I 2
Item 1. Business: 2
  Overview 2
  Financial Information 4
  Water Supplies and Contracts 4
  Employees 5
  Competition 5
  Regulation 6
  Seasonality 9
  Management 9
Item 1A. Risk Factors 10
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments 15
Item 2. Properties 16
Item 3. Legal Proceedings 17
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures 17
     
PART II 18
Item 5. Market for the Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities 18
Item 6. Selected Financial Data 20
Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations 20
Item 7A. Qualitative and Quantitative Disclosure About Market Risk 34
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data 35
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure 65
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures 65
Item 9B. Other Information 67
     
PART III 67
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance 67
Item 11. Executive Compensation 67
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters 67
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence 67
Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services 67
PART IV 68
Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules 68
     
Signatures  
Exhibit Index  

 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Certain statements contained in this annual report and in the documents incorporated by reference constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933. Middlesex Water Company (the “Company”) intends that these statements be covered by the safe harbors created under those laws. These statements include, but are not limited to:

-statements as to expected financial condition, performance, prospects and earnings of the Company;
-statements regarding strategic plans for growth;
-statements regarding the amount and timing of rate increases and other regulatory matters, including the recovery of certain costs recorded as regulatory assets;
-statements as to the Company’s expected liquidity needs during the upcoming fiscal year and beyond and statements as to the sources and availability of funds to meet its liquidity needs;
-statements as to expected customer rates, consumption volumes, service fees, revenues, margins, expenses and operating results;
-statements as to financial projections;
-statements as to the expected amount of cash contributions to fund the Company’s retirement benefit plans, anticipated discount rates and rates of return on plan assets;
-statements as to the ability of the Company to pay dividends;
-statements as to the Company’s compliance with environmental laws and regulations and estimations of the materiality of any related costs;
-statements as to the safety and reliability of the Company’s equipment, facilities and operations;
-statements as to the Company’s plans to renew municipal franchises and consents in the territories it serves;
-statements as to trends; and
-statements regarding the availability and quality of our water supply.

These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results and outcomes include, but are not limited to:

-effects of general economic conditions;
-increases in competition for growth in non-franchised markets to be potentially served by the Company;
-ability of the Company to adequately control selected operating expenses which are necessary to maintain safe and proper utility services, and which may be beyond the company’s control;
-availability of adequate supplies of water;
-actions taken by government regulators, including decisions on rate increase requests;
-new or modified water quality standards;
-weather variations and other natural phenomena impacting utility operations;
-financial and operating risks associated with acquisitions and, or privatizations;
-acts of war or terrorism;
-changes in the pace of housing development;
-availability and cost of capital resources; and
-other factors discussed elsewhere in this annual report.

 

Many of these factors are beyond the Company’s ability to control or predict. Given these uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which only speak to the Company’s understanding as of the date of this report. The Company does not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this annual report or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.

 

For an additional discussion of factors that may affect the Company’s business and results of operations, see Item 1A - Risk Factors.

 

PART I

Item 1. Business.

Overview

 

Middlesex Water Company (Middlesex) was incorporated as a water utility company in 1897 and owns and operates regulated water utility and wastewater systems in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. Middlesex also operates water and wastewater systems under contract on behalf of municipal and private clients in New Jersey and Delaware.

 

The terms “the Company,” “we,” “our,” and “us” refer to Middlesex Water Company and its subsidiaries, including Tidewater Utilities, Inc. (Tidewater) and Tidewater’s wholly-owned subsidiaries, Southern Shores Water Company, LLC (Southern Shores) and White Marsh Environmental Systems, Inc. (White Marsh). The Company’s other subsidiaries are Pinelands Water Company (Pinelands Water) and Pinelands Wastewater Company (Pinelands Wastewater) (collectively, Pinelands), Utility Service Affiliates, Inc. (USA), Utility Service Affiliates (Perth Amboy) Inc., (USA-PA), Tidewater Environmental Services, Inc. (TESI) and Twin Lakes Utilities, Inc. (Twin Lakes).

 

The Company’s principal executive offices are located at 1500 Ronson Road, Iselin, New Jersey 08830. Our telephone number is (732) 634-1500. Our internet website address is http://www.middlesexwater.com. We make available, free of charge through our internet website, reports and amendments filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC).

 

Middlesex System

 

The Middlesex System in New Jersey provides water services to approximately 61,000 retail customers, primarily in eastern Middlesex County, New Jersey and provides water under wholesale contracts to the City of Rahway, Townships of Edison and Marlboro, the Borough of Highland Park and the Old Bridge Municipal Utilities Authority. The Middlesex System treats, stores and distributes water for residential, commercial, industrial and fire protection purposes. The Middlesex System also provides water treatment and pumping services to the Township of East Brunswick under contract. The Middlesex System produced approximately 59% of our 2015 consolidated operating revenues.

 

The Middlesex System’s retail customers are located in an area of approximately 55 square miles in Woodbridge Township, the City of South Amboy, the Boroughs of Metuchen and Carteret, portions of the Township of Edison and the Borough of South Plainfield in Middlesex County and, to a minor extent, a portion of the Township of Clark in Union County. Retail customers include a mix of residential customers, large industrial concerns and commercial and light industrial facilities. These customers are located in generally well-developed areas of central New Jersey.

 

The contract customers of the Middlesex System comprise an area of approximately 110 square miles with a population of approximately 219,000. Contract sales to Edison, Old Bridge, Marlboro and Rahway are supplemental to the existing water systems of these customers. Middlesex is the sole source of water for Highland Park and East Brunswick.

 

Middlesex provides water service to approximately 300 customers in Cumberland County, New Jersey. This system is referred to as Bayview, and is not physically interconnected with the Middlesex System. Bayview produced less than 1% of our 2015 consolidated operating revenues.

 

Tidewater System

 

Tidewater, together with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Southern Shores, provides water services to approximately 42,000 retail customers for residential, commercial and fire protection purposes in over 375 separate communities in New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware. White Marsh is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tidewater that is unregulated as to rates and operates over 40 water and wastewater systems under contracts that serve approximately 4,000 residential customers. White Marsh owns two commercial properties that are leased to Tidewater as its administrative office campus and its field operations center. The Tidewater System produced approximately 27% of our 2015 consolidated operating revenues.

2 

 

Utility Service Affiliates-Perth Amboy

 

USA-PA operates the City of Perth Amboy, New Jersey’s (Perth Amboy) water and wastewater systems under a 20-year agreement, which expires in 2018. USA-PA serves approximately 11,500 homes and businesses, most of which are served by both the water and wastewater systems. Under the agreement, USA-PA receives fixed fees, and may receive variable fees, based on customer revenue growth. Fixed fee revenues increase over the term of the 20-year contract based upon a schedule of rates. USA-PA produced approximately 9% of our 2015 consolidated operating revenues.

 

In connection with the agreement with Perth Amboy, USA-PA entered into a 20-year subcontract with a wastewater operating company for the operation and maintenance of the Perth Amboy wastewater collection system. The subcontract provides for the sharing of certain fixed and variable fees and operating expenses.

 

Pinelands System

 

Pinelands Water provides water services to approximately 2,500 residential customers in Burlington County, New Jersey. Pinelands Water produced less than 1% of our 2015 consolidated operating revenues. Pinelands Water is not physically interconnected with the Middlesex System.

 

Pinelands Wastewater provides wastewater services to approximately 2,500 residential customers. Under contract, it also services one municipal wastewater system in Burlington County, New Jersey with approximately 200 residential customers. Pinelands Wastewater produced approximately 1% of our 2015 consolidated operating revenues.

 

Utility Service Affiliates, Inc.

 

USA operates the Borough of Avalon, New Jersey’s (Avalon) water utility, sewer utility and storm water system under a ten-year operations and maintenance contract expiring in 2022. USA serves approximately 6,100 Avalon homes and businesses, most of which are served by both the water and wastewater systems. In addition to performing day to day operations, USA is responsible for billing, collections, customer service, emergency responses and management of capital projects funded by Avalon.

 

USA also provides unregulated water and wastewater services under contract with several New Jersey municipalities.

 

Under a marketing agreement with HomeServe USA (HomeServe), USA offers residential customers in New Jersey and Delaware a menu of water and wastewater related home maintenance programs. HomeServe is a leading provider of such home maintenance service programs. USA receives a service fee for the billing, cash collection and other administrative matters associated with HomeServe’s service contracts. The agreement expires in 2021.

 

USA produced approximately 2% of our 2015 consolidated operating revenues.

 

TESI System

 

TESI provides wastewater services to approximately 3,400 residential retail customers in Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware. TESI produced approximately 2% of our 2015 consolidated operating revenues.

 

3 

 

Twin Lakes System

 

Twin Lakes provides water services to approximately 120 residential customers in Shohola, Pennsylvania. Twin Lakes produced less than 1% of our 2015 consolidated operating revenues.

 

Financial Information

 

Consolidated operating revenues, operating income and net income are as follows:

 

   (Thousands of Dollars) 
   Years Ended December 31, 
   2015   2014   2013 
             
Operating Revenues  $126,025   $117,139   $114,846 
                
Operating Income  $35,840   $34,392   $30,970 
                
Net Income  $20,028   $18,445   $16,633 

 

Operating revenues were earned from the following sources:

 

   Years Ended December 31,
   2015  2014  2013
          
Residential   48.5%   48.4%   46.6%
Commercial   10.4    10.0    9.9 
Industrial   6.5    6.7    7.6 
Fire Protection   8.9    9.3    9.3 
Contract Sales   11.2    11.3    12.4 
Contract Operations   11.5    11.5    12.0 
Other   3.0    2.8    2.2 
Total   100.0%   100.0%   100.0%

  

Water Supplies and Contracts

 

Our New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania water supply systems are physically separate and are not interconnected. In New Jersey, the Pinelands System and Bayview System are not interconnected with the Middlesex System or each other. We believe that we have adequate sources of water supply to meet the current service requirements of our present customers in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

 

Middlesex System

 

Our Middlesex System, which produced approximately 14.4 billion gallons in 2015, obtains water from surface sources and wells, or groundwater sources. In 2015, surface sources of water provided approximately 72% of the Middlesex System’s water supply, groundwater sources provided approximately 21% from 31 wells and the balance was purchased from a non-affiliated water utility. Middlesex System’s distribution storage facilities are used to supply water to customers at times of peak demand, outages and emergencies.

 

The principal source of surface water for the Middlesex System is the Delaware & Raritan Canal, which is owned by the State of New Jersey and operated as a water resource by the New Jersey Water Supply Authority (NJWSA). Middlesex is under a contract with the NJWSA, which expires November 30, 2023, and provides for average purchases of 27.0 million gallons per day (mgd) of untreated water from the Delaware & Raritan Canal, augmented by the Round Valley/Spruce Run Reservoir System. The untreated surface water is pumped to and treated at the Middlesex Carl J. Olsen (CJO) Water Treatment Plant. Middlesex also has an agreement with a non-affiliated regulated water utility for the purchase of treated water. This agreement, which expires February 27, 2021, provides for minimum purchase of 3.0 mgd of treated water with provisions for additional purchases.

4 

 

Tidewater System

 

Our Tidewater System produced approximately 2.1 billion gallons in 2015 from 163 wells. Tidewater will submit applications to Delaware regulatory authorities for the approval of additional wells as growth, demand and water quality warrant. Tidewater augments its water production with annual minimum purchases of 15.0 million gallons of treated water under contract with the City of Dover, Delaware. Tidewater does not have a central water treatment facility for the 375 separate communities it serves. As the number has grown, many of Tidewater’s individual systems have been interconnected forming several regional systems that are served by multiple water treatment facilities. 

 

Pinelands Water System

 

Water supply to our Pinelands Water System is derived from four wells which produced approximately 151.9 million gallons in 2015. The pumping capacity of the four wells is 2.2 mgd.

 

Pinelands Wastewater System

 

The Pinelands Wastewater System discharges into the South Branch of the Rancocas Creek through a tertiary treatment plant that provides clarification, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection. The total capacity of the plant is 0.5 mgd, and the system treated approximately 102.0 million gallons in 2015.

 

Bayview System

 

Water supply to Bayview customers is derived from two wells, which produced approximately 7.3 million gallons in 2015.

 

TESI System

 

The TESI System is comprised of eight wastewater treatment systems in Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware. The treatment plants provide clarification, sedimentation, and disinfection. The combined total treatment capacity of the plants is 0.7 mgd. The TESI System treated approximately 107.1 million gallons in 2015.

 

Twin Lakes System

 

Water supply to Twin Lakes’ customers is derived from one well, which produced approximately 19.8 million gallons in 2015.

 

Employees

 

As of December 31, 2015, we had a total of 293 employees. No employees are represented by a union. We believe our employee relations are positive. Wages and benefits are reviewed annually and are considered competitive within both the industry and the regions where we operate.

 

Competition

 

Our business in our franchised service areas is substantially free from direct competition with other public utilities, municipalities and other entities. However, our ability to provide contract water supply and wastewater services and operations and maintenance services that are not under the jurisdiction of a state public utility commission is subject to competition from other public utilities, municipalities and other entities. Although Tidewater and TESI have been granted exclusive franchises for each of their existing community water and wastewater systems, their ability to expand service areas can be affected by the Delaware Public Service Commission awarding franchises to other regulated water and wastewater utilities with whom we compete for such franchises and for projects.

5 

Regulation

 

Our rates charged to customers for water and wastewater services, the quality of the services we provide and certain other matters are regulated by the following state utility commissions (collectively, the Utility Commissions):

·New Jersey-New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU)
·Delaware-Delaware Public Service Commission (DEPSC)
·Pennsylvania-Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PAPUC)

 

Our USA, USA-PA and White Marsh subsidiaries are not regulated public utilities. However, they are subject to environmental regulation with respect to water quality and wastewater effluent quality to the extent such services are provided.

 

We are subject to environmental and water quality regulation by the following regulatory agencies (collectively, the Government Environmental Regulatory Agencies):

·United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
·New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) with respect to operations in New Jersey
·Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services-Division of Public Health (DEDPH), and the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) with respect to operations in Delaware
·Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) with respect to operations in Pennsylvania

 

In addition, our issuances of equity securities are subject to the prior approval of the NJBPU and require registration with the SEC. Our issuances of long-term debt securities are subject to the prior approval of the appropriate Utility Commissions.

 

Regulation of Rates and Services

 

For ratemaking purposes, we account separately for operations in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania to facilitate independent ratemaking by the applicable Utility Commissions.

 

In determining our regulated utility rates, the respective Utility Commissions consider the revenue, expenses, rate base of property used and useful in providing service to the public and a fair rate of return on investments within their separate jurisdictions. Rate determinations by the respective Utility Commissions do not guarantee particular rates of return to us for our New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania operations. Thus, we may not achieve the rates of return permitted by the Utility Commissions. In addition, there can be no assurance that any future rate increases will be granted or, if granted, that they will be in the amounts requested.

 

Middlesex Rate Matters

 

In August 2015, Middlesex’s Petition to the NJBPU seeking permission to increase base water rates was concluded, based on a negotiated settlement, resulting in an increase in annual operating revenues of $5.0 million. The base water rate increase request of $9.5 million, filed in March 2015, was necessitated by declining consumption by Middlesex’s Commercial and Industrial class customers, increasing benefit costs for active and retired employees, capital infrastructure investments and regulation-driven increases in other operations and maintenance costs. The new base water rates are designed to recover the increased costs and lost revenues, as well as a return on invested capital in rate base of $219.0 million, based on a return on equity of 9.75%. The rate increase became effective on August 29, 2015, which was significantly earlier than under standard procedural schedules. Concurrent with the increase Middlesex was required to reset its Distribution System Improvement Charge (DSIC) to zero. A DSIC is a rate-mechanism that allows water utilities to recover investments in, and generate a return on, qualifying capital improvements to their water distribution system made between base rate proceedings. The Middlesex DSIC had been in effect since May 2015, and had generated less than $0.1 million of revenues.

6 

 

In June 2014, Middlesex’s Petition to the NJBPU seeking permission to increase base water rates was partially approved, granting an increase in annual operating revenues of $4.2 million. The originally-filed base water rate increase request of $10.6 million, filed in November 2013 (subsequently revised to $8.1 million, primarily resulting from lower employee benefit plan costs), was necessitated by capital investments Middlesex had made, or committed to make, increased operations and maintenance costs and reduced revenues resulting from the expiration of a wholesale water sales contract with the Borough of Sayreville, New Jersey in August 2013. In addition, Middlesex’s largest retail water customer, Hess Corporation, ceased its oil refining operations at its Port Reading, New Jersey facility in February 2013. The new base water rates were designed to recover the increased costs and lost revenues, as well as a return on invested capital in rate base of $208.6 million, based on a return on equity of 9.75%. The rate increase became effective on July 20, 2014.

 

Tidewater Rate Matters

 

The DEPSC approved a $0.8 million increase in Tidewater’s annual base water rates, effective August 19, 2014. The originally-filed base water rate increase request of $3.9 million, filed in November 2013 (subsequently revised to $2.5 million, primarily resulting from lower employee benefit plan costs), was necessitated by capital investments Tidewater had made, or committed to make, as well as increased operations and maintenance costs. In connection with the rate increase application, Tidewater implemented a DEPSC approved 6.5% interim rate increase, subject to refund, on February 6, 2014. Since the final required and approved rate increase was less than the interim rate increase, Tidewater refunded $0.4 million of previously deferred revenues to customers in the form of a one-time credit to each customer account.

 

Effective January 1, 2016, Tidewater increased its DEPSC-approved DSIC rate, which is expected to generate additional revenues of approximately $0.2 million annually.

 

In April 2014, the DEPSC approved Tidewater’s 50-year agreement with the United States Department of Defense for the privatization of the water system of Dover Air Force Base (DAFB) in Dover, Delaware. On October 1, 2014, Tidewater assumed ownership of the DAFB water utility assets and began providing regulated water service to DAFB under Tidewater’s DEPSC approved tariff rates.

 

TESI Rate Matters

 

On October 1, 2013, TESI closed on its DEPSC-approved purchase of the wastewater utility assets of the Plantations development (the Plantations) for $0.4 million and began providing wastewater services to the 600 residential customers in the Plantations in Delaware. Upon commencing service to the Plantations, annual revenues were approximately $0.2 million. In October 2014, TESI implemented a 33.5% Plantations base wastewater rate increase (approximately $0.1 million annually).

 

Pinelands Rate Matters

 

In October 2015, Pinelands Water and Pinelands Wastewater filed separate petitions with the NJBPU seeking permission to increase base rates by approximately $0.3 million and $0.2 million per year, respectively. These requests were necessitated by capital infrastructure investments both companies have made, or have committed to make, increased operations and maintenance costs and lower non-fixed fee revenues for both companies. We cannot predict whether the NJBPU will ultimately approve, deny, or reduce the amount of the requests. A decision by the NJBPU in either matter is not expected until the third quarter of 2016.

 

In March 2013, the NJBPU approved a combined $0.2 million increase in Pinelands Water and Pinelands Wastewater’s annual base water and wastewater revenues. In its initial request, filed in August 2012, Pinelands had sought an increase of $0.3 million on a combined basis. The rate increase for water service, which was approximately 50% of the approved increase, was phased-in over one year.

7 

Southern Shores Rate Matters

 

Under the terms of a multi-year DEPSC-approved agreement expiring in 2020, customer rates will increase on January 1st of each year to generate additional annual revenue of $0.1 million with each increase.

 

Twin Lakes Rate Matters

 

In November 2015, Twin Lakes filed a Petition with the PAPUC seeking permission to increase its base water rates by approximately $0.2 million per year. This request was necessitated by capital infrastructure investments Twin Lakes has made, or committed to make, and increased operations and maintenance costs. We cannot predict whether the PAPUC will ultimately approve, deny, or reduce the amount of the requests. A decision by the PAPUC is not expected until the third quarter of 2016.

 

Future Rate Filings

 

Management monitors the need for rate relief for our regulated subsidiaries on an ongoing basis. When capital improvements (both made and planned) and/or increases in operation and maintenance costs require rate relief, base rate increase requests are expeditiously filed with those subsidiaries’ Utility Commissions.

 

Water and Wastewater Quality and Environmental Regulations

 

Government environmental regulatory agencies regulate our operations in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania with respect to water supply, treatment and distribution systems and the quality of the water.  They also regulate our operations with respect to wastewater collection, treatment and disposal.

 

Regulations relating to water quality require us to perform tests to ensure our water meets state and federal quality requirements. In addition, government environmental regulatory agencies continuously review current regulations governing the limits of certain organic compounds found in the water as byproducts of the treatment process. We participate in industry-related research to identify the various types of technology that might reduce the level of organic, inorganic and synthetic compounds found in water. The cost to water companies of complying with the proposed water quality standards depends in part on the limits set in the regulations and on the method selected to treat the water to the required standards. We regularly test our water to determine compliance with existing government environmental regulatory agencies’ primary water quality standards.

 

Treatment of well water in our Middlesex System is by chlorination for primary disinfection purposes. In addition, at certain locations, air stripping is used for removal of volatile organic compounds.

 

Surface water treatment in our Middlesex System is by conventional treatment; coagulation, sedimentation and filtration. The treatment process includes pH adjustment, chlorination for disinfection, and corrosion control for the distribution system.

 

Treatment of well water in our Tidewater System is by chlorination for disinfection purposes and, in some cases, pH correction and filtration for nitrate and iron removal and granular activated carbon filtration for organics removal. Chloramination is used for final disinfection at Southern Shores.

 

Treatment of well water in the Pinelands, Bayview and Twin Lakes Systems (primary disinfection only) is performed at individual well sites.

 

The NJDEP, DEDPH and PADEP monitor our activities and review the results of water quality tests that are performed for adherence to applicable regulations. Other applicable regulations include the Federal Lead and Copper Rule, the Federal Surface Water Treatment Rule and the Federal Total Coliform Rule and regulations for maximum contaminant levels established for various volatile organic compounds.

 

8 

 

Seasonality

 

Customer demand for our water during the warmer months is generally greater than other times of the year due primarily to additional consumption of water in connection with irrigation systems, swimming pools, cooling systems and other outside water use. Throughout the year, and particularly during typically warmer months, demand may vary with temperature and rainfall timing and overall levels. In the event that temperatures during the typically warmer months are cooler than normal, or if there is more rainfall than normal, the customer demand for our water may decrease and therefore, adversely affect our revenues.

 

Management

This table lists information concerning our executive management team:

Name   Age   Principal Position(s)
Dennis W. Doll   57   President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors
A. Bruce O’Connor   57   Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer
Richard M. Risoldi   59   Vice President-Operations and Chief Operating Officer
Jay L. Kooper   43   Vice President-General Counsel and Secretary
Bernadette M. Sohler   55   Vice President-Corporate Affairs
Lorrie B. Ginegaw   40   Vice President–Human Resources
Gerard L. Esposito   64   President, Tidewater Utilities, Inc.

 

Dennis W. Doll – Mr. Doll joined the Company in November 2004 as Executive Vice President and was named President and Chief Executive Officer and became a Director of Middlesex effective January 1, 2006. In May 2010, he was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of Middlesex.  He is also Chairman for all subsidiaries of Middlesex.  Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Doll had been employed in various executive leadership roles in the regulated water utility business since 1985. Mr. Doll also serves as a volunteer Director on selected non-profit Boards including the New Jersey Utilities Association, the Water Research Foundation and the National Association of Water Companies.

 

A. Bruce O’Connor – Mr. O’Connor, a Certified Public Accountant, joined the Company in 1990 and was named Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 1996 and Treasurer in 2014. He is Treasurer and a Director of Tidewater, USA, White Marsh and TESI. He is Vice President, Treasurer and a Director of Pinelands Water, USA-PA, Pinelands Wastewater and Twin Lakes.

 

Richard M. Risoldi – Mr. Risoldi joined the Company in 1989 as Director of Production. He was appointed Assistant Vice President of Operations in 2003. He was named Vice President-Subsidiary Operations in May 2004. In January 2010, he was named Vice President – Operations and Chief Operating Officer. He is a Director of Tidewater, White Marsh and TESI. He also serves as a Director and President of Pinelands Water, USA, USA-PA, Pinelands Wastewater and Twin Lakes.

 

Jay L. Kooper – Mr. Kooper joined the Company in March 2014 as Vice President and General Counsel and serves as Secretary for the Company and all subsidiaries. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Kooper held various positions in private and public entities as well as in private law practice, representing electric, gas, water, wastewater, telephone and cable companies as well as municipalities and private clients before 17 state public utility commissions and legislatures, federal agencies and federal and state appellate courts.  He is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association and currently serves as Secretary of its Public Utility Law Section.

 

Bernadette M. Sohler – Ms. Sohler joined the Company in 1994, was named Director of Communications in 2003 and promoted to Vice President-Corporate Affairs in March 2007. She also serves as Vice President of USA. Prior to joining the Company, Ms. Sohler held marketing and public relations management positions in the financial services industry. Ms. Sohler serves as a volunteer director on area Chambers of Commerce and several

9 

non-profit Boards, is the Chair of the New Jersey Utilities Association’s Communications Committee and is a member of the American Water Works Association.

 

Lorrie B. Ginegaw – Ms. Ginegaw joined Tidewater in 2004. In September 2005, Ms. Ginegaw was promoted to Human Resources Manager. In May 2007, Ms. Ginegaw was promoted to Director of Human Resources for Middlesex. In March 2012, Ms. Ginegaw was named Vice President-Human Resources. Prior to joining the Company, Ms. Ginegaw worked in various human resources positions in the healthcare and transportation/logistics industries. She is the Chair of the New Jersey Utilities Association’s Human Resources Committee and a member of the Middlesex County, New Jersey Workforce Investment Board.

 

Gerard L. Esposito – Mr. Esposito joined Tidewater in 1998 as Executive Vice President. He was named President of Tidewater and White Marsh in 2003 and President of TESI in January 2005. Prior to joining the Company he worked in various executive positions for Delaware environmental protection and water quality governmental agencies. He is a Director of Tidewater, White Marsh and TESI. Mr. Esposito is a volunteer Director on selected Delaware non-profit, government, and professional Boards, including the Delaware Solid Waste Authority, which he chairs, Port of Wilmington, Delaware Workforce Investment Board, and the University of Delaware Sea Grant Advisory Council, which he chairs.

 

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS.

 

Our revenue and earnings depend on the rates we charge our customers. We cannot raise utility rates in our regulated businesses without filing a petition with the appropriate Utility Commissions. If these agencies modify, delay, or deny our petition, our revenues will not increase and our earnings will decline unless we are able to reduce costs.

 

The NJBPU regulates our public utility companies in New Jersey with respect to rates and charges for service, classification of accounts, awards of new service territory, acquisitions, financings and other matters. That means, for example, that we cannot raise the utility rates we charge to our customers without first filing a petition with the NJBPU and going through a lengthy administrative process. In much the same way, the DEPSC and the PAPUC regulate our public utility companies in Delaware and Pennsylvania, respectively. We cannot give assurance of when we will request approval for any such matter, nor can we predict whether these Utility Commissions will approve, deny or reduce the amount of such requests.

 

Certain costs of doing business are not completely within our control. The failure to obtain any rate increase would prevent us from increasing our revenues and, unless we are able to reduce costs, would result in reduced earnings.

 

General economic conditions may materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

 

Ongoing economic conditions continue to negatively impact some of our customers’ water usage demands, particularly the level of water usage demand by our commercial and industrial customers in our Middlesex System. We are unable to determine when these customers’ water demands may return to previous levels, or if the decline in demand will continue indefinitely. If water demand by our commercial and industrial customers in our Middlesex System does not return to previous levels, our financial condition and results of operations could continue to be negatively impacted.

 

We are subject to environmental laws and regulations, including water quality and wastewater effluent quality regulations, as well as other state and local regulations. Compliance with those laws and regulations requires us to incur costs and we are subject to fines or other sanctions for non-compliance.

 

Government environmental regulatory agencies regulate our operations in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania with respect to water supply, treatment and distribution systems and the quality of water. Government environmental regulatory agencies’ regulations relating to water quality require us to perform expanded types of testing to ensure that our water meets state and federal water quality requirements. We are subject to EPA regulations under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, which include the Lead and Copper Rule, the maximum contaminant levels established for various volatile organic compounds, the Federal Surface Water Treatment Rule and the Total Coliform Rule. There are also similar NJDEP regulations for our New Jersey water systems. The NJDEP, DEDPH and PADEP monitor our activities and review the results of water quality tests that we perform for adherence to applicable regulations. In addition, Government Environmental Regulatory Agencies are continually reviewing regulations governing the limits of certain organic compounds found in the water as byproducts of treatment.

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We are also subject to regulations related to fire protection services in New Jersey and Delaware. In New Jersey there is no state-wide fire protection regulatory agency. However, New Jersey regulations exist as to the size of piping required regarding the provision of fire protection services. In Delaware, fire protection is regulated statewide by the Office of State Fire Marshal.

 

The cost of compliance with the water and wastewater effluent quality standards depends in part on the limits set in the regulations and on the method selected to implement them. If new or more restrictive standards are imposed, the cost of compliance could be very high and have an adverse impact on our revenues and results of operations if we cannot recover those costs through our rates that we charge our customers. The cost of compliance with fire protection requirements could also be high and make us less profitable if we cannot recover those costs through our rates charged to our customers.

In addition, if we fail to comply with environmental or other laws and regulations to which our business is subject, we could be fined or subject to other sanctions, which could adversely impact our business or results of operations.

 

We depend upon our ability to raise money in the capital markets to finance some of the costs of complying with laws and regulations, including environmental laws and regulations or to pay for some of the costs of improvements to or the expansion of our utility system assets. Our regulated utility companies cannot issue debt or equity securities without regulatory approval.

 

We require financing to fund the ongoing capital program for the improvement in our utility system assets and for planned expansion of those systems. We expect to spend approximately $160 million for capital projects through 2018. We must obtain approval from our economic regulators to sell debt or equity securities to raise money for these projects. If sufficient capital is not available, or the cost of capital is too high, or if the regulatory authorities deny a petition of ours to sell debt or equity securities, we may not be able to meet the costs of complying with environmental laws and regulations or the costs of improving and expanding our utility system assets to the level we believe operationally prudent. This may result in the imposition of fines from environmental regulators or restrictions on our operations which could curtail our ability to upgrade or replace utility system assets.

 

We rely on our information technology systems to help manage our operations.

 

Our information technology systems require periodic modifications, upgrades and or replacement which subject us to costs and risks including potential disruption of our internal control structure, substantial capital expenditures, additional administration and operating expenses, retention of sufficiently skilled personnel to implement and operate existing or new systems, and other risks and costs of delays or difficulties in transitioning to new systems or of integrating new systems into our current systems. In addition, challenges implementing new technology systems may cause disruptions in our business operations and have an adverse effect on our business operations, if not anticipated and appropriately mitigated.

 

We rely on our computer, information and communications technology systems in connection with the operation of our business, especially with respect to customer service and billing, accounting and, in some cases, the monitoring and operation of our operating facilities.  Our computer and communications systems and operations could be damaged or interrupted by natural disasters, power loss and internet, telecommunications or data network failures or acts of war or terrorism or similar events or disruptions.  Any of these or other events could

11 

cause service interruption, delays and loss of critical data or, impede aspects of operations and therefore, adversely affect our financial results.

 

There have been an increasing number of cyber security incidents on companies around the world, which have caused operational failures or compromised sensitive corporate data.  Although we do not believe our systems are at a materially greater risk of cyber incidents than other similar organizations, such cyber security incidents may result in the loss or compromise of customer, financial or operational data, disruption of billing, collections or normal field service activities, disruption of electronic monitoring and control of operational systems and delays in financial reporting and other management functions. Possible impacts associated with a cyber-incident may include remediation costs related to lost, stolen, or compromised data, repairs to data processing systems, increased cyber security protection costs, adverse effects on our compliance with regulatory and environmental laws and regulation, including standards for drinking water, litigation and reputational damage.

 

Weather conditions and overuse of underground aquifers may interfere with our sources of water, demand for water services and our ability to supply water to customers.

 

Our ability to meet current and future water demands of our customers depends on the availability of an adequate supply of water. Unexpected conditions may interfere with our water supply sources. Drought and overuse of underground aquifers may limit the availability of ground and/or surface water. Freezing weather may also contribute to water transmission interruptions caused by water main breakage. Any interruption in our water supply could cause a reduction in our revenue and profitability. These factors may adversely affect our ability to supply water in sufficient quantities to our customers. Governmental drought restrictions may result in decreased customer demand for water services and can adversely affect our revenue and earnings.

 

Our business is subject to seasonal fluctuations, which could affect demand for our water service and our revenues.

 

Demand for our water during the warmer months is generally greater than during cooler months due primarily to additional consumption of water in connection with irrigation systems, swimming pools, cooling systems and other outdoor water use. Throughout the year, and particularly during typically warmer months, demand may vary with temperature and rainfall levels. In the event that temperatures during the typically warmer months are cooler than normal, or if there is more rainfall than normal, the demand for our water may decrease and adversely affect our revenues.

 

Our water sources may become contaminated by naturally-occurring or man-made compounds and events. This may cause disruption in services and impose costs to restore the water to required levels of quality.

 

Our sources of water may become contaminated by naturally-occurring or man-made compounds or other events. In the event that any portion of our water supply is contaminated, we may need to interrupt the use of that water supply until we are able to install treatment capability or substitute the flow of water from an uncontaminated water source through existing interconnections with other water purveyors or through our transmission and distribution systems, where possible. We may also incur significant costs in treating any contaminated water through the use of our current treatment facilities, or development of new treatment methods. Our inability to substitute water supply from an uncontaminated water source, or to adequately treat the contaminated water source in a cost-effective manner, may reduce our revenues and make us less profitable.

 

We face competition from other water and wastewater utilities and service providers which might hinder our growth and reduce our profitability.

 

We face risks of competition from other utilities or other entities authorized by federal, state or local agencies to provide utility services. Once a state utility regulator grants a franchise to a utility to serve a specific territory, that utility effectively has an exclusive right to service that territory. Although a new franchise offers some protection against competitors, the pursuit of franchises is often competitive, particularly in Delaware, where new franchises may be awarded to utilities based upon competitive negotiation. Competing entities have challenged, and may

12 

challenge in the future, our applications for new franchises. Also, third parties entering into long-term agreements to operate municipal utility systems may adversely affect our long-term agreements to supply water or wastewater services on a contract basis to municipalities, which could adversely affect our financial results.

 

We have long-term contractual obligations for water, wastewater and storm water system operation and maintenance under which we may incur costs in excess of payments received.

 

USA-PA operates and maintains the water and wastewater systems of Perth Amboy under a 20-year contract expiring in 2018. USA operates and maintains the water, wastewater and storm water systems of Avalon under a 10-year contract expiring in 2022. These contracts do not protect us against incurring costs in excess of revenues we earn pursuant to the contracts. There can be no absolute assurance that we will not experience losses resulting from these contracts. Losses under these contracts, or our failure or inability to perform, may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

We serve as guarantor of performance of an unaffiliated company that operates a leachate pretreatment facility at the Monmouth County Reclamation Center in Tinton Falls, New Jersey.

 

Middlesex entered into agreements, expiring in 2028, with Applied Water Management, Inc. (AWM), Natural Systems Utilities, LLC, the parent company of AWM, and the County of Monmouth, New Jersey (Monmouth County) for the operation of a leachate pretreatment facility at the Monmouth County Reclamation Center in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. Under the terms of the agreement, AWM operates the landfill leachate pretreatment facility owned by Monmouth County. Middlesex is serving the role of guarantor of AWM's performance under the agreement (the Guaranty), for which Middlesex earns a fee, in addition to providing operational support if necessary. If asked to perform under the Guaranty, Middlesex could be required to fulfill the remaining operational commitments of AWM. There can be no absolute assurance that we will not experience losses if asked to perform under the Guaranty. Losses from performance under this Guaranty, or our failure or inability to perform, may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

Capital market conditions and key assumptions may adversely impact the value of our postretirement benefit plan assets and liabilities.

 

Market factors can adversely affect the rate of return on assets held in trusts to satisfy our future postretirement benefit obligations as well negatively affect interest rates, which impacts the discount rates used in the determination of our postretirement benefit actuarial valuations. In addition, changes in demographics, such as increases in life expectancy assumptions, can increase future postretirement benefit obligations. Any negative impact to these factors, either individually or a combination thereof, may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

An important element of our growth strategy is the acquisition of water and wastewater assets, operations, contracts or companies. Any pending or future acquisitions we decide to undertake may involve risks.

 

The acquisition and/or operation of water and wastewater systems is an element of our growth strategy. This strategy depends on identifying suitable opportunities and reaching mutually agreeable terms with acquisition candidates or contract partners. Further, acquisitions may result in dilution of our equity securities, incurrence of debt and contingent liabilities, fluctuations in quarterly results and other related expenses. In addition, the assets, operations, contracts or companies we acquire may not achieve the sales and profitability expected.

 

The current concentration of our business in central New Jersey and Delaware makes us susceptible to adverse development in local regulatory, economic, demographic, competitive and weather conditions.

 

Our New Jersey water and wastewater businesses provide services to customers who are located primarily in eastern Middlesex County, New Jersey. Water service is provided under wholesale contracts to the Townships of Edison, East Brunswick and Marlboro, the Borough of Highland Park, the Old Bridge Municipal Utilities Authority, and the City of Rahway in Union County, New Jersey. We also provide water and wastewater services to customers in the State of Delaware. Our revenues and operating results are therefore subject to local regulatory, economic, demographic, competitive and weather conditions in a relatively concentrated geographic area. A change in any of these conditions could make it more costly for us to conduct our business.

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The necessity for ongoing security has and may continue to result in increased operating costs.

 

Because of continuing physical and operational threats to the health and security of the United States of America, we employ procedures to review and modify, as necessary, physical and other security measures at our facilities. We provide ongoing training and communications to our employees about threats to our water supply, our assets and related systems and our employees’ personal safety. Security measures include, but are not limited to, protocols regarding delivery and handling of certain chemicals used in our business. We are at risk for terrorist attacks and have incurred, and will continue to incur, costs for security measures to protect against such risks.

 

Our ability to achieve organic growth in our market area is dependent on the residential building market. Housing starts are one element that impacts our rate of growth and therefore, may not meet our expectations.

 

We expect our revenues to increase from customer growth for our regulated water and wastewater operations as a result of anticipated construction and sale of new housing units. If housing starts decline, or do not increase as we have projected, as a result of economic conditions or otherwise, the timing and extent of our organic revenue growth may not meet our expectations, our deferred project costs may not produce revenue-generating projects in the timeframes anticipated and our financial results could be negatively impacted.

 

There can be no assurance that we will continue to pay dividends in the future or, if dividends are paid, that they will be in amounts similar to past dividends.

 

We have paid dividends on our common stock each year since 1912 and have increased the amount of dividends paid each year since 1973. Our earnings, financial condition, capital requirements, applicable regulations and other factors, including the timeliness and adequacy of rate increases, will determine both our ability to pay dividends and the amount of those dividends. There can be no assurance that we will continue to pay dividends in the future or, if dividends are paid, that they will be in amounts similar to past dividends.

 

If we are unable to pay the principal and interest on our indebtedness as it comes due or we default under certain other provisions of our loan documents, our indebtedness could be accelerated and our results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.

 

Our ability to pay the principal and interest on our indebtedness as it comes due will depend upon our current and future performance. Our performance is affected by many factors, some of which are beyond our control.

 

We believe cash generated from operations and, if necessary, borrowings under existing credit facilities, will be sufficient to enable us to make our debt payments as they become due. If, however, we do not generate sufficient cash, we may be required to refinance our obligations or sell additional equity, which may be on terms that are less favorable than we desire.

 

No assurance can be given that any refinancing or sale of equity will be possible when needed, or that we will be able to negotiate acceptable terms. In addition, our failure to comply with certain provisions contained in our trust indentures and loan agreements relating to our outstanding indebtedness could lead to a default under these documents, which could result in an acceleration of our indebtedness.

 

We depend significantly on the technical and management services of our senior management team, and the departure of any of those persons could cause our operating results to temporarily be short of our expectations.

 

Our success depends significantly on the continued individual and collective contributions of our senior management team. If we lose the services of any member of our senior management, or are unable to attract and retain qualified senior management personnel, our operating results could be negatively impacted.

 

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We are subject to anti-takeover measures that may be used to discourage, delay or prevent changes of control that might benefit non-management shareholders.

 

Subsection 10A of the New Jersey Business Corporation Act, known as the New Jersey Shareholders Protection Act, applies to us. The Shareholders Protection Act deters merger proposals, tender offers or other attempts to effect changes in control that are not approved by our Board of Directors. In addition, we have a classified Board of Directors, which means only a portion of the Director population is elected each year. A classified Board can make it more difficult for an acquirer to gain control of the Company by voting its candidates onto the Board of Directors and may also deter merger proposals and tender offers. Our Board of Directors also has the ability, subject to obtaining NJBPU approval, to issue one or more series of preferred stock having such number of shares, designation, preferences, voting rights, limitations and other rights as the Board of Directors may fix. This could be used by the Board of Directors to discourage, delay or prevent an acquisition that the Board of Directors determines is not in the best interest of the common stockholders.

 

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS.

 

None.

 

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ITEM 2. PROPERTIES.

 

Utility Plant

 

The water utility plant in our systems consists of source of supply, pumping, water treatment, transmission and distribution, general facilities and all appurtenances, including all connecting pipes.

 

The wastewater utility plant in our systems consist of pumping, treatment, collection mains, general facilities and all appurtenances, including all connecting pipes.

 

Middlesex System

 

The Middlesex System’s principal source of surface supply is the Delaware & Raritan Canal owned by the State of New Jersey and operated as a water resource by the NJWSA.

 

Water is withdrawn from the Delaware & Raritan Canal at New Brunswick, New Jersey through our intake and pumping station, located on state-owned land bordering the canal. Water is transported through two raw water pipelines for treatment and distribution at our CJO Water Treatment Plant in Edison, New Jersey.

 

The CJO Water Treatment Plant includes chemical storage and chemical feed equipment, two dual rapid mixing basins, four upflow clarifiers which are also called superpulsators, four underground reinforced chlorine contact tanks, twelve rapid filters containing gravel, sand and anthracite for water treatment and a steel washwater tank. The CJO Water Treatment Plant also includes a computerized Supervisory Control and Data Acquisitions system to monitor and control the CJO Water Treatment Plant and the water supply and distribution system in the Middlesex System. There is an on-site State certified laboratory capable of performing bacteriological, chemical, process control and advanced instrumental chemical sampling and analysis. The firm design capacity of the CJO Water Treatment Plant is 55 mgd (60 mgd maximum capacity). The five electric motor-driven, vertical turbine pumps presently installed have an aggregate capacity of 85 mgd.

 

In addition, there is a 15 mgd auxiliary pumping station located at the CJO Water Treatment Plant location. It has a dedicated substation and emergency power supply provided by a diesel-driven generator. It pumps from the 10 million gallon distribution storage reservoir directly into the distribution system.

 

The transmission and distribution system is comprised of 741 miles of mains and includes 23,200 feet of 48-inch concrete transmission main connecting the CJO Water Treatment Plant to our distribution pipe network and related storage facilities. Also included is a 58,600 foot transmission main and a 38,800 foot transmission main, augmented with a long-term, non-exclusive agreement with the East Brunswick system to transport water to several of our contract customers.

 

The Middlesex System’s storage facilities consist of a 10 million gallon reservoir at the CJO Water Treatment Plant, 5 million gallon and 2 million gallon reservoirs in Edison (Grandview) and a 2 million gallon reservoir at the Park Avenue Well Field.

 

In New Jersey, we own the properties on which the Middlesex System’s 31 wells are located, the properties on which our storage tanks are located as well as the property where the CJO Water Treatment Plant is located. We also own our headquarters complex located at 1500 Ronson Road, Iselin, New Jersey, consisting of a 27,000 square foot office building and an adjacent 16,500 square foot maintenance facility.

 

Tidewater System

 

The Tidewater System is comprised of 85 production plants that vary in pumping capacity from 46,000 gallons per day to 4.4 mgd. Water is transported to our customers through 745 miles of transmission and distribution mains. Storage facilities include 47 tanks, with an aggregate capacity of 8.3 million gallons. The Delaware office property, located on an eleven-acre parcel owned by White Marsh, consists of two office buildings totaling approximately 17,000 square feet. In addition, Tidewater maintains a field operations center servicing its largest service territory area in Sussex County, Delaware. The operations center is located on a 2.9 acre parcel owned by White Marsh, and consists of one building totaling approximately 5,300 square feet.

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Pinelands Water System

 

Pinelands Water owns well site and storage properties in Southampton Township, New Jersey. The Pinelands Water storage facility is a 1.3 million gallon standpipe. Water is transported to our customers through 18 miles of transmission and distribution mains.

 

Pinelands Wastewater System

 

Pinelands Wastewater owns a 12 acre site on which its 0.5 million gallons per day capacity tertiary treatment plant and connecting pipes are located. Its wastewater collection system is comprised of approximately 24 miles of sewer lines.

 

Bayview System

 

Bayview owns two well sites, which are located in Downe Township, Cumberland County, New Jersey. Water is transported to its customers through our 4.2 mile distribution system.

 

TESI System

The TESI System is comprised of eight wastewater treatment systems in Southern Delaware. The treatment plants provide clarification, sedimentation, and disinfection. The combined total capacity of the plants is 0.7 mgd. TESI’s wastewater collection system is comprised of approximately 41.9 miles of sewer lines.

 

Twin Lakes System

Twin Lakes owns two well sites, which are located in the Township of Shohola, Pike County, Pennsylvania. Water is transported to our customers through 3.7 miles of distribution mains.

 

USA-PA, USA and White Marsh

Our non-regulated subsidiaries, namely USA-PA, USA and White Marsh, do not own utility plant property.

 

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.

 

The Company is a defendant in lawsuits in the normal course of business. We believe the resolution of pending claims and legal proceedings will not have a material adverse effect on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

 

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES.

 

Not applicable.

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PART II

 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR THE REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES.

 

The Company’s common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, under the symbol MSEX. The following table shows the range of high and low share prices per share for the common stock and the dividend paid to shareholders in such quarter. As of December 31, 2015, there were 1,754 holders of record.

 

2015  High  Low  Dividend  
          
Fourth Quarter  $28.02   $23.40   $0.1988 
Third Quarter  $24.98   $22.12   $0.1925 
Second Quarter  $23.85   $21.24   $0.1925 
First Quarter  $23.48   $21.57   $0.1925 

 

2014  High  Low  Dividend  
          
Fourth Quarter  $23.68   $19.50   $0.1925 
Third Quarter  $21.76   $19.60   $0.1900 
Second Quarter  $22.01   $19.78   $0.1900 
First Quarter  $22.09   $19.06   $0.1900 

 

The Company has paid dividends on its common stock each year since 1912. The payment of future dividends is contingent upon the future earnings of the Company, its financial condition and other factors deemed relevant by the Board of Directors at its discretion.

 

If four or more quarterly dividends are in arrears, the preferred shareholders, as a class, are entitled to elect two members to the Board of Directors in addition to Directors elected by holders of the common stock. In the event dividends on the preferred stock are in arrears, no dividends may be declared or paid on the common stock of the Company.

 

The Company periodically issues shares of common stock in connection with its Middlesex Water Company Investment Plan (the Investment Plan), a direct share purchase and sale and dividend reinvestment plan for Middlesex common stock. In July 2015, the Company registered an additional 700,000 common shares for potential issuance under the Investment Plan with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, increasing the number of NJBPU-authorized shares to 3.0 million. The Company raised approximately $1.5 million through the issuance of 0.1 million shares under the Investment Plan during 2015.

 

The Company has a stock compensation plan for certain management employees (the 2008 Restricted Stock Plan). The Company maintains an escrow account for 0.1 million awarded shares of the Company's common stock for the 2008 Restricted Stock Plan. Such stock is subject to an agreement requiring forfeiture by the employee in the event of termination of employment within five years of the award other than as a result of retirement, death, disability or change in control. The maximum number of shares authorized for grant under the 2008 Restricted Stock Plan is 0.3 million shares and 0.1 million shares remain available for future awards under the 2008 Restricted Stock Plan.

 

The Company has a stock compensation plan for its outside directors (the Outside Director Stock Compensation Plan). In 2015, 4,795 shares of common stock were granted and issued to the Company’s outside directors under the Outside Director Stock Compensation Plan. The maximum number of shares authorized for grant under the Outside Director Stock Compensation Plan is 100,000. 72,120 shares remain available for future grants under the Outside Director Stock Compensation Plan.

 

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Set forth below is a line graph comparing the yearly change in the cumulative total return (which includes reinvestment of dividends) of a $100 investment for the Company’s common stock, a peer group of investor-owned water utilities, and the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Stock Index for the period of five years commencing December 31, 2010. The Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Stock Index measures the performance of all U.S. headquartered equity securities with readily available price data.

 

COMPARISON OF 5 YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN

Among Middlesex Water Company, the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Stock Index and a Peer Group*

 

 

 

* Peer group includes American States Water Company, Artesian Resources Corp., California Water Service Group, Connecticut Water Service, Inc., SJW Corp., York Water Company and Middlesex.

 

   December 31,
   2010  2011  2012  2013  2014  2015
Middlesex Water Company   100.00    101.69    106.59    114.11    125.67    144.63 
Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Stock Index   100.00    99.03    112.49    146.74    162.25    159.89 
Peer Group   100.00    97.79    110.16    129.80    146.81    152.79 

 

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ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA.

 

CONSOLIDATED SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

(Thousands Except per Share Data)

 

   2015  2014  2013  2012  2011
Operating Revenues  $126,025   $117,139   $114,846   $110,379   $102,069 
Operating Expenses:                         
   Operations and Maintenance   65,167    59,129    60,748    60,458    56,634 
   Depreciation   12,051    11,444    10,988    10,409    9,746 
   Other Taxes   12,967    12,174    12,140    11,865    11,488 
      Total Operating Expenses   90,185    82,747    83,876    82,732    77,868 
Operating Income   35,840    34,392    30,970    27,647    24,201 
Other Income (Expense), Net   293    (403)   91    857    2,149 
Interest Charges   5,554    5,607    5,807    6,725    6,376 
Income Taxes   10,551    9,937    8,621    7,383    6,527 
Net Income   20,028    18,445    16,633    14,396    13,447 
Preferred Stock Dividend   144    151    190    206    206 
Earnings Applicable to Common Stock  $19,884   $18,294   $16,443   $14,190   $13,241 
Earnings per Share:                         
Basic  $1.23   $1.14   $1.04   $0.90   $0.85 
Diluted  $1.22   $1.13   $1.03   $0.90   $0.84 
Average Shares Outstanding:                         
Basic   16,175    16,052    15,868    15,733    15,615 
Diluted   16,331    16,226    16,110    15,995    15,877 
Dividends Declared and Paid  $0.776   $0.763   $0.753   $0.743   $0.733 
Total Assets  $584,722   $575,772   $530,341   $561,726   $537,536 
Convertible Preferred Stock  $1,356   $1,356   $1,806   $2,273   $2,273 
Long-term Debt  $136,247   $136,039   $129,798   $131,467   $132,167 

 

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATION.

 

The following discussion of the Company’s historical results of operations and financial condition should be read in conjunction with the Company’s consolidated financial statements and related notes.

 

Management’s Overview

 

Operations

 

Middlesex Water Company (Middlesex) has operated as a water utility in New Jersey since 1897, in Delaware through our wholly-owned subsidiary, Tidewater Utilities, Inc. (Tidewater), since 1992 and in Pennsylvania through our wholly-owned subsidiary, Twin Lakes Utilities, Inc. (Twin Lakes), since 2009. We are in the business of collecting, treating and distributing water for domestic, commercial, municipal, industrial and fire protection purposes. We also operate two New Jersey municipal water and wastewater systems under contract and provide regulated wastewater services in New Jersey and Delaware through our subsidiaries. We are regulated as to rates charged to customers for water and wastewater services, as to the quality of water service we provide and as to certain other matters in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. Only our Utility Service Affiliates, Inc. (USA), Utility Service Affiliates (Perth Amboy), Inc. (USA-PA) and White Marsh Environmental Services, Inc. (White Marsh) subsidiaries are not regulated utilities.

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Our New Jersey water utility system (the Middlesex System) provides water services to approximately 61,000 retail customers, primarily in central New Jersey. The Middlesex System also provides water service under contract to municipalities in central New Jersey with a total population of approximately 219,000. We also have an investment in a joint venture, Ridgewood Green RME, LLC, that operates facilities to optimize the production of electricity at the Village of Ridgewood, New Jersey wastewater treatment plant and other municipal facilities. In partnership with our subsidiary, USA-PA, we operate the water supply system and wastewater system for the City of Perth Amboy, New Jersey (Perth Amboy). Our Bayview subsidiary provides water services in Downe Township, New Jersey. Our other New Jersey subsidiaries, Pinelands Water Company (Pinelands Water) and Pinelands Wastewater Company (Pinelands Wastewater) (collectively, Pinelands), provide water and wastewater services to approximately 2,500 customers in Southampton Township, New Jersey.

 

USA operates the Borough of Avalon, New Jersey’s (Avalon) water utility, sewer utility and storm water system under a ten-year operations and maintenance contract expiring in 2022. In addition to performing day to day operations, USA is responsible for billing, collections, customer service, emergency responses and management of capital projects funded by Avalon. Under a marketing agreement with HomeServe USA (HomeServe), USA offers residential customers in New Jersey and Delaware a menu of water and wastewater related home maintenance programs. HomeServe is a leading provider of such home maintenance service programs. USA receives a service fee for the billing, cash collection and other administrative matters associated with HomeServe’s service contracts. The agreement expires in 2021. USA also provides unregulated water and wastewater services under contract with several New Jersey municipalities.

 

Our Delaware subsidiaries, Tidewater and Southern Shores Water Company, LLC (Southern Shores), provide water services to approximately 42,000 retail customers in New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware. Tidewater’s subsidiary, White Marsh, services approximately 4,000 customers in Kent and Sussex Counties through various operations and maintenance contracts.

 

Our Tidewater Environmental Services, Inc. (TESI) subsidiary provides wastewater services to approximately 3,400 residential retail customers in Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware.

 

Our Pennsylvania subsidiary, Twin Lakes, provides water services to approximately 120 retail customers in the Township of Shohola, Pike County, Pennsylvania.

 

Recent Developments

 

Middlesex Base Water Rate Increase - In the third quarter of 2015, Middlesex implemented a base water rate increase of $5.0 million. The base water rate increase was necessitated by declining consumption by Middlesex’s Commercial and Industrial class customers, increasing benefit costs for active and retired employees, capital infrastructure investments, and regulation-driven increases in other operations and maintenance costs. See “Rates” below for further discussion of this base water rate increase.

 

Pinelands and Twin Lakes Rate Increase Requests In the fourth quarter of 2015, Pinelands Water, Pinelands Wastewater and Twin Lakes filed base rate increase requests with their respective utility commissions, seeking permission to increase base rates by approximately $0.3 million, $0.2 million and $0.2 million per year, respectively. See “Rates” below for further discussion of these base rate increase requests.

 

Income Taxes - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued final regulations pertaining to the deductibility of costs that qualify as repairs on tangible property. The regulations, which the Company adopted by filing a change in accounting method request with its 2014 Federal income tax return, redefine the characteristics previously used by the Company to determine tax deductibility of expenditures associated with tangible property. Under the regulations, the IRS has provided guidelines for certain industries, but not for regulated public water utilities. Consequently, the Company undertook a comprehensive study to support the adoption and integration of the new regulations into its tax policies prospectively, and to also determine the level of deductibility for income tax purposes for expenditures incurred on projects completed in prior years where such expenditures were capitalized, but may now be considered currently deductible as repairs under the new regulations. Included in its 2014 Federal income tax return, filed in September 2015, the Company submitted support which results in a net reduction of $17.6 million in taxes due to the federal government. While the Company believes that the deduction for qualifying tangible property repair costs included in its tax return is proper, it could be challenged under an examination by the IRS. Therefore, the Company has recorded a provision against refundable taxes of $2.3 million. The Company believes that the net operating loss carry-forward, expiring in 2034, resulting from adoption of the regulations (approximately $7.8 million) is more likely than not to be recovered.

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It is probable that any net tax benefits that resulted from adopting the study findings will be considered in determining the revenue requirement used to set base rates for the Company in a future regulatory proceeding. Consequently, adoption of the new regulations did not and will not have a significant impact on the Company’s financial statements or effective tax rate. Adoption of these new regulations resulted in a $10.3 million federal income tax refund request, a $1.5 million increase in regulatory assets for additional expenses incurred expected to be recovered from customers in the future, a $5.0 million decrease in accrued taxes for the amount of refund applied against future tax payments and a $16.8 million increase in accumulated deferred income taxes.

 

The Company has been notified by the IRS that the Company’s 2014 federal income tax return has been selected for examination.

 

Strategy for Growth

 

Our strategy is focused on five key areas:

 

·Prudent acquisitions of investor- and municipally-owned water and wastewater utilities;

 

·Timely and adequate recovery of prudent investments in utility plant required to maintain appropriate utility services;

 

·Operate municipal and industrial water and wastewater systems under contract;

 

·Invest in renewable energy projects that are complementary to the provision of water and wastewater services, and to our core water and wastewater competencies; and

 

·Invest in other products, services and opportunities that complement our core water and wastewater competencies.

 

Rates

 

Middlesex - In August 2015, Middlesex’s Petition to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (the NJBPU) seeking permission to increase base water rates was concluded, based on a negotiated settlement, resulting in an increase in annual operating revenues of $5.0 million. The base water rate increase request of $9.5 million, filed in March 2015, was necessitated by declining consumption by Middlesex’s Commercial and Industrial class customers, increasing benefit costs for active and retired employees, capital infrastructure investments and regulation-driven increases in other operations and maintenance costs. The new base water rates are designed to recover the increased costs and lost revenues, as well as a return on invested capital in rate base of $219.0 million, based on a return on equity of 9.75%. The rate increase became effective on August 29, 2015, which was significantly earlier than under standard procedural schedules. Concurrent with the increase Middlesex was required to reset its Distribution System Improvement Charge (DSIC) to zero. A DSIC is a rate-mechanism that allows water utilities to recover investments in, and generate a return on, qualifying capital improvements to their water distribution system made between base rate proceedings. The Middlesex DSIC had been in effect since May 2015, and had generated less than $0.1 million of revenues.

 

In June 2014, Middlesex’s Petition to the NJBPU seeking permission to increase base water rates was partially approved, granting an increase in annual operating revenues of $4.2 million. The originally-filed base water rate increase request of $10.6 million, filed in November 2013 (subsequently revised to $8.1 million, primarily resulting from lower employee benefit plan costs), was necessitated by capital investments Middlesex had made, or committed to make, increased operations and maintenance costs and reduced revenues resulting from the expiration of a wholesale water sales contract with the Borough of Sayreville, New Jersey in August 2013. In addition, Middlesex’s largest retail water customer, Hess Corporation, ceased its oil refining operations at its Port

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Reading, New Jersey facility in February 2013. The new base water rates were designed to recover the increased costs and lost revenues, as well as a return on invested capital in rate base of $208.6 million, based on a return on equity of 9.75%. The rate increase became effective on July 20, 2014.

 

Tidewater - The Delaware Public Service Commission (the DEPSC) approved a $0.8 million increase in Tidewater’s annual base water rates, effective August 19, 2014. The originally-filed base water rate increase request of $3.9 million, filed in November 2013 (subsequently revised to $2.5 million, primarily resulting from lower employee benefit plan costs), was necessitated by capital investments Tidewater had made, or committed to make, as well as increased operations and maintenance costs. In connection with the rate increase application, Tidewater implemented a DEPSC approved 6.5% interim rate increase, subject to refund, on February 6, 2014. Since the final required and approved rate increase was less than the interim rate increase, Tidewater refunded $0.4 million of previously deferred revenues to customers in the form of a one-time credit to each customer account.

 

Effective January 1, 2016, Tidewater increased its DEPSC-approved DSIC rate, which is expected to generate additional revenues of approximately $0.2 million annually.

 

In April 2014, the DEPSC approved Tidewater’s 50-year agreement with the United States Department of Defense for the privatization of the water system of Dover Air Force Base (DAFB) in Dover, Delaware. On October 1, 2014, Tidewater assumed ownership of the DAFB water utility assets and began providing regulated water service to DAFB under Tidewater’s DEPSC approved tariff rates.

 

TESI - On October 1, 2013, TESI closed on its DEPSC-approved purchase of the wastewater utility assets of the Plantations development (the Plantations) for $0.4 million and began providing wastewater services to the 600 residential customers in the Plantations in Delaware. Upon commencing service to the Plantations, annual revenues were approximately $0.2 million. In October 2014, TESI implemented a 33.5% Plantations base wastewater rate increase (approximately $0.1 million annually).

 

Pinelands - In October 2015, Pinelands Water and Pinelands Wastewater filed separate petitions with the NJBPU seeking permission to increase base rates by approximately $0.3 million and $0.2 million per year, respectively. These requests were necessitated by capital infrastructure investments both companies have made, or have committed to make, increased operations and maintenance costs and lower non-fixed fee revenues for both companies. We cannot predict whether the NJBPU will ultimately approve, deny, or reduce the amount of the requests. A decision by the NJBPU in either matter is not expected until the third quarter of 2016.

 

In March 2013, the NJBPU approved a combined $0.2 million increase in Pinelands Water and Pinelands Wastewater’s annual base water and wastewater revenues. In its initial request, filed in August 2012, Pinelands had sought an increase of $0.3 million on a combined basis. The rate increase for water service, which was approximately 50% of the approved increase, was phased-in over one year.

 

Southern Shores - Under the terms of a multi-year DEPSC-approved agreement expiring in 2020, customer rates will increase on January 1st of each year to generate additional annual revenue of $0.1 million with each increase.

 

Twin Lakes - In November 2015, Twin Lakes filed a Petition with the PAPUC seeking permission to increase its base water rates by approximately $0.2 million per year. This request was necessitated by capital infrastructure investments Twin Lakes has made, or committed to make, and increased operations and maintenance costs. We cannot predict whether the PAPUC will ultimately approve, deny, or reduce the amount of the requests. A decision by the PAPUC is not expected until the third quarter of 2016.

 

Outlook

 

Revenues in 2016 are expected to be favorably impacted by the full year effect of Middlesex’s August 2015 base water rate increase and, if approved, base rate increases for Pinelands Water, Pinelands Wastewater and Twin Lakes. In addition, revenues are expected to be favorably impacted by the increase in the Tidewater DSIC, effective since January 1, 2016. Our 2015 revenues were impacted by favorable weather-related increased customer demand. See “Rates above for further discussion these matters.

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Revenues and earnings are influenced by weather. Changes in water usage patterns, as well as increases in capital expenditures and operating costs, are significant factors in determining the timing and extent of rate increase requests. We continue to implement plans to further streamline operations and further reduce operating costs.

 

A market-driven higher discount rate is expected to result in lower employee benefit plan expense in 2016.  See Note 7 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion of Employee Benefit Plans.

 

Our ability to increase operating income and net income is based significantly on four factors: weather, adequate and timely rate relief, effective cost management, and customer growth. These factors are evident in the discussions below which compare our results of operations from prior years.

 

Operating Results by Segment

 

The Company has two operating segments, Regulated and Non-Regulated. Our Regulated segment contributed approximately 88% of total revenues for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013 and approximately 94%, 93% and 93% of net income for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively. The discussion of the Company’s results of operations is on a consolidated basis, and includes significant factors by subsidiary. The segments in the tables included below are comprised of the following companies: Regulated- Middlesex, Tidewater, Pinelands, Southern Shores, TESI and Twin Lakes; Non-Regulated- USA, USA-PA, and White Marsh.

 

Results of Operations for 2015 as Compared to 2014

 

   (In Millions) 
   Years Ended December 31, 
   2015   2014 
     Regulated   Non-
Regulated
   Total     Regulated   Non-
Regulated
   Total 
Revenues  $111.1   $14.9   $126.0   $103.3   $13.8   $117.1 
Operations and maintenance expenses   53.0    12.2    65.2    48.2    10.9    59.1 
Depreciation expense   11.8    0.2    12.0    11.2    0.2    11.4 
Other taxes   12.7    0.3    13.0    11.9    0.3    12.2 
  Operating income   33.6    2.2    35.8    32.0    2.4    34.4 
                               
Other income, net   0.3        0.3    (0.3)   (0.1)   (0.4)
Interest expense   5.5    0.1    5.6    5.5    0.1    5.6 
Income taxes   9.5    1.0    10.5    8.9    1.0    9.9 
  Net income  $18.9   $1.1   $20.0   $17.3   $1.2   $18.5 

 

Operating Revenues

 

Operating revenues for the year ended December 31, 2015 increased $8.9 million from the same period in 2014 due to the following factors:

 

·Middlesex System revenues increased $5.6 million due to NJBPU-approved rate increases implemented in July 2014 (approximately $2.2 million) and August 2015 (approximately $1.6 million) and higher weather-driven customer demand (approximately $1.8 million);
·Tidewater System revenues increased $1.8 million due to higher demand from existing customers and the October 2014 acquisition of the Dover Air Force Base system;

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·USA-PA’s revenues increased $0.8 million from scheduled fixed fees increases under our contract with Perth Amboy ($1.0 million) partially offset by lower revenues ($0.2 million) under the same contract for supplemental services;
·TESI’s revenues increased $0.3 million due primarily to base wastewater rate increases effective in October 2014 and April 2015;
·USA’s revenues increased $0.2 million due to a higher amount of billable supplemental services under our contract to operate the Avalon water, wastewater and storm water system (see corresponding expense increase in “Operation and Maintenance Expense” below); and
·All other revenues increased $0.2 million.

 

Operation and Maintenance Expenses

 

Operation and maintenance expenses for the year ended December 31, 2015 increased $6.0 million from the same period in 2014 due to the following factors:

 

·Employee benefit expenses increased $3.4 million due to higher employee healthcare insurance costs and higher retirement plan costs resulting from a lower discount rate than in the prior year and the required adoption of new mortality tables, reflecting longer life expectancies. Both factors impacted the calculation of the 2015 net periodic plan costs;
·Variable production costs increased $0.9 million due to an increase in the rate the Company pays for residuals removal in our Middlesex System and increased production in our Middlesex and Tidewater systems;
·USA-PA’s operation and maintenance costs increased $0.9 million due mostly to higher subcontractor expenditures (see corresponding increase in “Operating Revenues” above);
·USA’s operation and maintenance costs increased $0.6 million due to expenditures for billable supplemental services under USA’s contract to operate the Avalon water, sewer and storm water systems (see corresponding revenue increase in “Operating Revenues” above); and
·All other operation and maintenance expense categories increased $0.2 million.

 

Depreciation

 

Depreciation expense for the year ended December 31, 2015 increased $0.6 million from the same period in 2014 due to a higher level of utility plant in service.

 

Other Taxes

 

Other taxes for the year ended December 31, 2015 increased $0.8 million from the same period in 2014 due to higher revenue related taxes on increased revenues in our Middlesex system.

 

Other Income, net

 

Other Income, net for the year ended December 31, 2015 increased $0.7 million from the same period in 2014 due higher allowance for funds used during construction, resulting from a higher level of capital projects in progress, and lower business development costs at our TESI subsidiary.

 

Interest Charges

 

Interest charges for the year ended December 31, 2015 decreased $0.1 million from the same period in 2014 due to lower average interest rates on decreased average total debt outstanding.

 

Income Taxes

 

Income taxes for the year ended December 31, 2015 increased $0.6 million from the same period in 2014 due to increased pre-tax operating income in 2015 as compared to 2014.

 

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Net Income and Earnings Per Share

 

Net income for the year ended December 31, 2015 increased $1.6 million as compared with the same period in 2014. Basic and diluted earnings per share increased to $1.23 and $1.22, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2015, as compared to $1.14 and $1.13, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2014.

 

Results of Operations for 2014 as Compared to 2013

 

   (In Millions) 
   Years Ended December 31, 
   2014   2013 
     Regulated   Non
Regulated
   Total     Regulated   Non-
Regulated
   Total 
Revenues  $103.3   $13.8   $117.1   $100.7   $14.1   $114.8 
Operations and maintenance expenses   48.2    10.9    59.1    49.4    11.4    60.8 
Depreciation expense   11.2    0.2    11.4    10.8    0.2    11.0 
Other taxes   11.9    0.3    12.2    11.8    0.3    12.1 
  Operating income   32.0    2.4    34.4    28.7    2.2    30.9 
                               
Other income (expense), net   (0.3)   (0.1)   (0.4)   0.1        0.1 
Interest expense   5.5    0.1    5.6    5.7    0.1    5.8 
Income taxes   8.9    1.0    9.9    7.6    1.0    8.6 
  Net income  $17.3   $1.2   $18.5   $15.5   $1.1   $16.6 

 

Operating Revenues

 

Operating revenues for the year ended December 31, 2014 increased $2.3 million from the same period in 2013 due to the following factors:

 

·Middlesex System revenues decreased $0.5 million:
oContract Sales to Municipalities decreased by $1.1 million due to the expiration of the Borough of Sayreville, New Jersey (Sayreville) wholesale contract in August 2013 ($1.2 million), mitigated for part of 2014 by the NJBPU-approved rate increase implemented in July 2014 and by higher demand for water from customers (collectively $0.l million); and
oRevenues from General Metered Service (GMS) customers increased $0.6 million from the same period in 2013 due to the NJBPU-approved rate increase implemented in July 2014 (approximately $1.7 million) partially offset by decreased GMS customer water demand (approximately $0.9 million) as a result of unfavorable weather and Hess Corporation (Hess) ceasing its oil refining operations at its Port Reading, New Jersey facility in February 2013;
·Tidewater System revenues increased $2.5 million:
oHigher customer water demand;
oIncreased fees for new customer connections to our water system; and
oThe implementation of a DEPSC-approved interim and final base rate increases (see “Rates-Tidewater” above for further discussion of the Tidewater base water rate increase);
·TESI’s revenues increased $0.5 million for service to the customers of the acquired Plantations wastewater system, which TESI began serving in October 2013, and the phase-in of TESI’s 2012 base wastewater rate increase; and
·USA’s revenues decreased $0.4 million due to a lower level of billable supplemental services under our contract to operate the Avalon water utility, sewer utility and storm water system (see corresponding decrease in “Operations and Maintenance Expense” below; and
·Operating revenues at all other subsidiaries increased $0.2 million.

 

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Operation and Maintenance Expense

 

Operation and maintenance expenses for the year ended December 31, 2014 decreased $1.6 million due to the following factors:

 

·Employee benefit expenses decreased $3.0 million due to lower postretirement employee benefit plan costs resulting from improved performance in 2013 on our investment of retirement plan funds and a higher discount rate used for the actuarially determined 2014 expense;
·Variable production costs decreased $0.4 million due to lower customer water demand and higher raw water quality in our Middlesex System;
·Expenditures for billable supplemental services related to USA’s Avalon contract decreased $0.4 million (see corresponding decrease in ”Operating Revenues” above);
·Severe winter weather in early 2014 resulted in higher water main break costs of $0.5 million in our Middlesex and Pinelands Systems and higher facilities maintenance expenses of $0.1 million;
·Inspection, storm preparation, maintenance and repair services increased $0.4 million at Middlesex’s production and transmission and distribution facilities;
·Information technology expenses increased $0.2 million due to higher licensing and service contract fees;
·Liability insurance expenses increased $0.2 million;
·Labor costs increased $0.6 million due to higher overtime resulting from severe winter weather in our Middlesex System and higher average labor rates; and
·Operation and maintenance expenses for all other categories increased $0.2 million.

 

Depreciation

 

Depreciation expense for the year ended December 31, 2014 increased $0.5 million from the same period in 2013 due to a higher level of utility plant in service.

 

Other Taxes

 

Other taxes for the year ended December 31, 2014 were consistent with the same period in 2013 due to lower revenue related taxes on lower taxable revenues in our Middlesex system offset by higher payroll taxes.

 

Other Income (Expense), net

 

Other Income, net for the year ended December 31, 2014 decreased $0.5 million from the same period in 2013 due to business development costs at our TESI subsidiary.

 

Interest Charges

 

Interest charges for the year ended December 31, 2014 decreased $0.2 million from the same period in 2013 due to lower average interest rates on long-term debt and lower average long-term debt outstanding.

 

Income Taxes

 

Income taxes for the year ended December 31, 2014 increased $1.3 million from the same period in 2013, primarily due to increased operating income in 2014 as compared to 2013 and a higher effective tax rate, resulting from Middlesex’s subsidiaries who pay state income taxes contributing a higher percentage of 2014 consolidated pre-tax income.

 

Net Income and Earnings Per Share

 

Net income for the year ended December 31, 2014 increased $1.8 million from the same period in 2013. Basic and diluted earnings per share increased to $1.14 and $1.13, respectively for the year ended December 31, 2014 as compared to $1.04 and $1.03, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2013.

 

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Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

Cash Flows from Operating Activities

 

Cash flows from operating activities are largely based on four factors: weather, adequate and timely rate increases, effective cost management and customer growth. The effect of those factors on net income is discussed in the Results of Operations section above.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2015, cash flows from operating activities increased $18.6 million to $51.2 million. The increase in cash flows from operating activities resulted from a net refund of previously paid federal income taxes resulting from the Company’s adoption of final IRS regulations pertaining to the deductibility of costs that qualify as repairs on tangible property (approximately $8.8 million), income taxes paid and higher net income (see “Recent Developments” above for further discussion on the Company’s adoption of final IRS regulations pertaining to qualifying repair costs on tangible property). The $51.2 million of net cash flow from operations enabled us to internally fund all utility plant expenditures incurred in 2015.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2014, cash flows from operating activities decreased $1.2 million to $32.6 million. The decrease in cash flows from operating activities resulted from the timing of vendor and interest payments, partially offset by higher earnings and timing of income tax payments. The $32.6 million of net cash flow from operations enabled us to internally fund all of our utility plant expenditures incurred in 2014.

 

Increases in certain operating costs impact our liquidity and capital resources. We continually monitor the need for timely rate filing to minimize the lag between the time we experience increased operating costs and capital expenditures and the time we receive appropriate rate relief. There can be no assurances however that our regulated subsidiaries’ respective Utility Commissions will approve base water and/or wastewater rate increase requests in whole or in part or when the decisions will be rendered.

 

Cash Flows Used in Investing Activities

 

For the year ended December 31, 2015, cash flows used in investing activities increased $2.5 million to $24.4 million. The increase in cash flows used in investing activities resulted from increased utility plant expenditures partially offset by increased restricted cash inflows.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2014, cash flows used in investing activities increased $0.4 million to $21.8 million. The increase in cash flows used in investing activities resulted from increased utility plant expenditures.

 

For further discussion on the Company’s future capital expenditures and expected funding sources, see “Capital Expenditures and Commitments” below.

 

Cash Flows Used in Financing Activities

 

For the year ended December 31, 2015, cash flows used in financing activities increased $13.1 million to $26.0 million. The increase in cash flows used in financing activities resulted from increased short-term debt refunding and lower net cash inflows from long-term debt, as the Company did not require any additional New Jersey State Revolving Fund (SRF) long-term financing in 2015.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2014, cash flows used in financing activities increased $2.3 million to $12.9 million. The increase in cash flows used in financing activities resulted from increased short-term debt refunding offset by higher net cash inflows from long-term debt financings, as Tidewater drew down $8.0 million on a completed loan transaction.

 

For further discussion on the Company’s short-term and long-term debt, see “Sources of Liquidity” below.

 

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Capital Expenditures and Commitments

 

To fund our capital program, we use internally generated funds, short term and long term debt borrowings, proceeds from sales of common stock under the Middlesex Water Company Investment Plan (Investment Plan) and, when market conditions are favorable, proceeds from sales offerings to the public of our common stock.

 

The table below summarizes our estimated capital expenditures for the years 2016-2018.

 

   (Millions) 
   2016   2017   2018   2016-2018 
Distribution/Network System  $31.7   $30.9   $37.2   $99.8 
Production System   8.1    10.4    27.4    45.9 
Computer Systems   3.4    0.6    1.0    5.0 
Other   4.1    3.5    1.4    9.0 
Total Estimated Capital Expenditures  $47.3   $45.4   $67.0   $159.7 

 

Our estimated capital expenditures for the items listed above are primarily comprised of the following:

·Distribution/Network System-Projects associated with installation and relocation of water mains and service lines and wastewater collection systems, construction of water storage tanks, installation and replacement of hydrants and meters and our RENEW Program. RENEW is our ongoing initiative to clean and cement-line unlined mains in the Middlesex System. Certain mains may be replaced under the RENEW program, as opposed to cleaned and lined, as asset condition assessments dictate. In connection with our RENEW Program, we expect to spend $12.0 million in 2016 and $10.0 million in both 2017 and 2018.
·Production System-Projects associated with our water production and water/wastewater treatment plants.
·Computer Systems-Purchase and/or upgrade of hardware and software.
·Other-Purchase of vehicles and other transportation equipment, tools, furniture, laboratory equipment, security systems and other general infrastructure needs.

 

The actual amount and timing of capital expenditures is dependent on the need for replacement of existing infrastructure, customer growth, residential new home construction and sales, project scheduling and continued refinement of project scope and costs.

 

To pay for our capital program in 2016, we plan on utilizing:

·Internally generated funds;
·Proceeds from the Investment Plan;
·Proceeds from the 2016 New Jersey and Delaware SRF programs (up to $14.0 million and $1.2 million, respectively). SRF programs provide low cost financing for projects that meet certain water quality and system improvement benchmarks; and
·Short-term borrowings, if necessary, through $60.0 million of available lines of credit with several financial institutions. As of December 31, 2015, there remains $57.0 million of available credit under these lines.

 

Sources of Liquidity

 

Short-term Debt. The Company had established lines of credit aggregating $60.0 million throughout 2015. At December 31, 2015, the outstanding borrowings under these credit lines were $3.0 million, at a weighted average interest rate of 1.41%.

 

The weighted average daily amounts of borrowings outstanding under the Company’s credit lines and the weighted average interest rates on those amounts were $15.3 million and $27.4 million at 1.19% and 1.41% for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively.

 

29 

Long-term Debt. Subject to regulatory approval, the Company periodically issues long-term debt to fund its investments in utility plant and other assets. To the extent possible, the Company finances qualifying capital projects under SRF loan programs in New Jersey and Delaware. These government programs provide financing at interest rates that are typically below rates available in the broader financial markets. A portion of the borrowings under the New Jersey SRF is interest-free. We have qualified to participate in the 2016 New Jersey and Delaware SRF programs (up to $14.0 million and $1.2 million, respectively) with an expected closing date in November 2016 for the New Jersey SRF loan. Tidewater closed on the $1.2 million SRF loan on February 11, 2016.

 

In 2014, Tidewater completed a $15.0 million debt transaction. Tidewater drew down $8.0 million in 2014 and the remaining $7.0 million in 2015. $11.0 million of the loan is at a fixed interest rate of 4.45% and $4.0 million is at a market-based variable interest rate. The proceeds were used to pay down short-term debt and for other general corporate purposes. The interest rates on the variable portion of the loan can be fixed at Tidewater’s discretion. The final maturity date of all borrowings under this loan agreement is April 2040.

 

In May 2014, Middlesex borrowed approximately $3.8 million through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT) under the New Jersey SRF loan program and issued first mortgage bonds designated as Series VV (approximately $2.8 million) and Series WW (approximately $0.9 million). The interest rate on the Series VV bond is zero and the interest rate on the Series WW bond ranges from 3.0% to 5.0% depending on the serial maturity date. The final maturity date for both bonds is August 1, 2033. Proceeds were used for the Middlesex 2014 RENEW project, which is part of a program to clean and cement all unlined mains in the Middlesex system.

 

In 2014, Tidewater borrowed $0.6 million, which represented the balance of a $1.1 million project specific loan with the Delaware SRF at an interest rate of 3.45% and final maturity of August 1, 2031.

 

Substantially all of the Utility Plant of the Company is subject to the lien of its mortgage, which includes debt service and capital ratio covenants. The Company is in compliance with all of its mortgage covenants and restrictions.

 

Common Stock. The Company periodically issues shares of common stock in connection with the Investment Plan. The Company raised $1.5 million through the issuance of 0.1 million shares under the Investment Plan during 2015. In July 2015, the Company registered an additional 700,000 common shares for potential issuance under the Investment Plan with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, increasing the number of NJBPU-authorized shares to 3.0 million.

 

Contractual Obligations

 

In the course of normal business activities, the Company enters into a variety of contractual obligations and commercial commitments. Some of these items result in direct obligations on the Company’s balance sheet while others are commitments, some firm and some based on uncertainties, which are disclosed in the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

 

30 

The table below presents our known contractual obligations for the periods specified as of December 31, 2015.

 

   (Millions of Dollars)
   Total  Less than
1 Year
  2-3
Years
  4-5
Years
  More
than 5
Years
                
Long-term Debt  $140.3   $5.7   $12.4   $12.7   $109.5 
Notes Payable   3.0    3.0             
Interest on Long-term Debt   98.9    5.7    10.7    9.7    72.8 
Purchased Water Contracts   36.9    5.7    11.5    11.4    8.3 
Wastewater Operations   16.5    5.4    11.1         
Total  $295.6   $25.5   $45.7   $33.8   $190.6 

 

The table above does not reflect any anticipated cash payments for postretirement benefit plan obligations. The effect on the timing and amount of these payments resulting from potential changes in actuarial assumptions and returns on plan assets cannot be estimated. In 2015, the Company contributed $5.0 million to its postretirement benefit plans and expects to contribute approximately $4.8 million in 2016. In addition, the table above does not reflect the provision against refundable taxes of $2.3 million related to the Company’s adoption of IRS tangible property repair cost regulations due to the uncertainty of future cash flows (see Note 3 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion).

 

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

 

The application of accounting policies and standards often requires the use of estimates, assumptions and judgments. The Company regularly evaluates these estimates, assumptions and judgments, including those related to the calculation of pension and postretirement benefits, unbilled revenues, and the recoverability of certain assets, including regulatory assets. The Company bases its estimates, assumptions and judgments on historical experience and current operating environment. Changes in any of the variables that are used for the Company’s estimates, assumptions and judgments may lead to significantly different financial statement results.

 

Our critical accounting policies are set forth below.

 

Regulatory Accounting

 

We maintain our books and records in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Middlesex and certain of its subsidiaries, which account for approximately 88% of Operating Revenues and 99% of Total Assets, are subject to regulation in the states in which they operate. Those companies are required to maintain their accounts in accordance with regulatory authorities’ rules and guidelines, which may differ from other authoritative accounting pronouncements. In those instances, the Company follows the guidance in the Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification Topic 980 Regulated Operations (Regulatory Accounting).

 

In accordance with Regulatory Accounting, costs and obligations are deferred if it is probable that these items will be recognized for rate-making purposes in future rates. Accordingly, we have recorded costs and obligations, which will be amortized over various future periods. Any change in the assessment of the probability of rate-making treatment will require us to change the accounting treatment of the deferred item. We have no reason to believe any of the deferred items that are recorded will be treated differently by the regulators in the future.

 

31 

 

Revenues

 

Revenues from metered customers include amounts billed on a cycle basis and unbilled amounts estimated from the last meter reading date to the end of the accounting period. The estimated unbilled amounts are determined by utilizing factors which may include historical consumption usage, current weather patterns and economic conditions. Differences between estimated revenues and actual billings are recorded in a subsequent period.

 

Revenues from unmetered customers are billed at a fixed tariff rate in advance at the beginning of each service period and are recognized in revenue ratably over the service period.

 

Revenues from the Perth Amboy management contract are comprised of fixed and variable fees. Fixed fees, which have been set for the life of the contract, are billed monthly and recorded as earned. Variable fees, which are based on billings and other factors, are recorded upon approval of the amount by Perth Amboy. The variable fees are not a material component of the management contract.

 

Revenues from USA’s operations and maintenance contract for the Avalon water utility, sewer utility and storm water system are fixed for the life of the contract, are billed monthly and recorded as earned. USA also provides services to Avalon in addition to the base services provided under the operation and maintenance contract. These additional services are recorded as earned and billed upon approval of Avalon.

 

Retirement Benefit Plans

 

We maintain a noncontributory defined benefit pension plan (Pension Plan) which covers all currently active employees who were hired prior to April 1, 2007. In addition, the Company maintains an unfunded supplemental plan for its executive officers.

 

The Company has a retirement benefit plan other than pensions (Other Benefits Plan) for substantially all of its retired employees. Employees hired after March 31, 2007 are not eligible to participate in the Other Benefits Plan. Coverage includes healthcare and life insurance.

 

The costs for providing retirement benefits are dependent upon numerous factors, including actual plan experience and assumptions of future experience. Future retirement benefit plan obligations and expense will depend on future investment performance, changes in future discount rates and various other demographic factors related to the population participating in the Company’s retirement benefit plans, all of which can change significantly in future years.

 

The allocation by asset category of retirement benefit plan assets at December 31, 2015 and 2014 is as follows:

 

   Pension Plan   Other Benefits Plan 
Asset Category  2015   2014   Target    2015   2014   Target  
Equity Securities   59.1%   60.7%   55%   50.0%   49.5%   43%
Debt Securities   37.8%   35.8%   38%   47.4%   47.5%   50%
Cash   1.3%   1.2%   2%   2.4%   2.8%   2%
Real Estate/Commodities   1.8%   2.3%   5%   0.2%   0.2%   5%
Total   100.0%   100.0%        100.0%   100.0%     

 

The primary assumptions used for determining future postretirement benefit plans’ obligations and costs are as follows:

 

·Discount Rate - calculated based on market rates for long-term, high-quality corporate bonds specific to our Pension Plan and Other Benefits Plan’s asset allocation;
·Compensation Increase - based on management projected future employee compensation increases;
·Long-Term Rate of Return - determined based on historical returns and our asset allocation for our Pension Plan and Other Benefits Plan assets;

32 

·Mortality – In 2014, the Company adopted the use of the recently issued Society of Actuaries’ mortality table (RP 2014) (Mortality Improvement Scale MP2015 for the 2015 valuation). Use of the RP 2014 mortality table, which extends the assumed life expectancies of our postretirement benefit plan participants, resulted in significant increases to our postretirement benefit obligations and costs; and
·Healthcare Cost Trend Rate - based on management projected future healthcare costs.

 

The discount rate, compensation increase rate and long-term rate of return utilized for determining our postretirement benefit plans’ future obligations as of December 31, 2015 are as follows:

 

  Pension Plan Other Benefits Plan
Discount Rate 4.26% 4.26%
Compensation Increase 3.00% 3.00%
Long-term Rate of Return 7.50% 7.50%

 

For the 2015 valuation, costs and obligations for our Other Benefits Plan assumed a 9.0% annual rate of increase in the per capita cost of covered healthcare benefits in 2016 with the annual rate of increase declining 1.0% per year for 2017-2019 and 0.5% per year for 2020-2021, resulting in an annual rate of increase in the per capita cost of covered healthcare benefits of 5% by year 2021.

 

The following is a sensitivity analysis for certain actuarial assumptions used in determining projected benefit obligations (PBO) and expenses for our postretirement benefit plans:

 

Pension Plan

 

Actuarial Assumptions  Estimated
Increase/
(Decrease)
on PBO
(000s)
  Estimated
Increase/
(Decrease)
on Expense
(000s)
Discount Rate 1% Increase  $(10,225)  $(1,164)
Discount Rate 1% Decrease   12,997    1,434 

  

Other Benefits Plan

 

Actuarial Assumptions  Estimated
Increase/
(Decrease)
on PBO
(000s)
  Estimated
Increase/
(Decrease)
on Expense
(000s)
Discount Rate 1% Increase  $(7,288)  $(937)
Discount Rate 1% Decrease   9,521    1,200 
Healthcare Cost Trend Rate 1% Increase   8,267    1,598 
Healthcare Cost Trend Rate 1% Decrease   (6,482)   (1,222)

 

Recent Accounting Standards

 

See Note 1(q) of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for a discussion of recent accounting pronouncements.

 

33 

 

ITEM 7A. QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK.

 

We are exposed to market risk associated with changes in interest rates and commodity prices. The Company is subject to the risk of fluctuating interest rates in the normal course of business. Our policy is to manage interest rates through the use of fixed rate long-term debt and, to a lesser extent, variable rate long-term and short-term debt. The Company’s interest rate risk related to existing fixed rate, long-term debt is not material due to the term of the majority of our First Mortgage Bonds, which have final maturity dates ranging from 2018 to 2047. Over the next twelve months, approximately $5.7 million of the current portion of existing long-term debt instruments will mature. The Company manages its interest rate risk related to existing variable-rate long-term and short-term debt by limiting our variable rate exposure. Applying a hypothetical change in the rate of interest charged by 10% on those fixed- and variable-rate borrowings would not have a material effect on our earnings.

 

Our risks associated with commodity price increases for chemicals, electricity and other commodities are reduced through contractual arrangements and the ability to recover price increases through rates. Non-performance by these commodity suppliers could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial position and cash flows.

 

We are exposed to credit risk for both our Regulated and Non-Regulated business segments. Our Regulated operations serve residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers while our Non-Regulated operations engage in business activities with developers, government entities and other customers. Our primary credit risk is exposure to customer default on contractual obligations and the associated loss that may be incurred due to the non-payment of customer accounts receivable balances. Our credit risk is managed through established credit and collection policies which are in compliance with applicable regulatory requirements and involve monitoring of customer exposure and the use of credit risk mitigation measures such as letters of credit or prepayment arrangements. Our credit portfolio is diversified with no significant customer or industry concentrations. In addition, our Regulated businesses are generally able to recover all prudently incurred costs including uncollectible customer accounts receivable expenses and collection costs through rates.

 

The Company's retirement benefit plan assets are exposed to the market prices of debt and equity securities. Changes to the Company's retirement benefit plan assets’ value can impact the Company's retirement benefit plan expense, funded status and future minimum funding requirements. Our risk is reduced through our ability to recover retirement benefit plan costs through rates.

34 

 

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA.

 

 

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

Board of Directors and Stockholders

Middlesex Water Company

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets and consolidated statements of capital stock and long-term debt of Middlesex Water Company (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2015 and 2014, and the related consolidated statements of income, common stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2015. These consolidated financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these consolidated financial statements based on our audits.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Middlesex Water Company as of December 31, 2015 and 2014, and the results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2015, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), Middlesex Water Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2015, based on criteria established in Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework), and our report dated March 4, 2016 expressed an unqualified opinion.

 

 

/s/ Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

March 4, 2016

 

35 

 MIDDLESEX WATER COMPANY

 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME

 (In thousands except per share amounts)

 

   Years Ended December 31,
   2015  2014  2013
          
Operating Revenues  $126,025   $117,139   $114,846 
                
Operating Expenses:               
Operations and Maintenance   65,167    59,129    60,748 
Depreciation   12,051    11,444    10,988 
Other Taxes   12,967    12,174    12,140 
                
Total Operating Expenses   90,185    82,747    83,876 
                
Operating Income   35,840    34,392    30,970 
                
Other Income (Expense):               
Allowance for Funds Used During Construction   380    317    314 
Other Income   208    281    183 
Other Expense   (295)   (1,001)   (406)
                
Total Other Income, net   293    (403)   91 
                
Interest Charges   5,554    5,607    5,807 
                
Income before Income Taxes   30,579    28,382    25,254 
                
Income Taxes   10,551    9,937    8,621 
                
Net Income   20,028    18,445    16,633 
                
Preferred Stock Dividend Requirements   144    151    190 
                
Earnings Applicable to Common Stock  $19,884   $18,294   $16,443 
                
Earnings per share of Common Stock:               
Basic  $1.23   $1.14   $1.04 
Diluted  $1.22   $1.13   $1.03 
                
Average Number of               
Common Shares Outstanding :               
Basic   16,175    16,052    15,868 
Diluted   16,331    16,226    16,110 
                
Cash Dividends Paid per Common Share  $0.776   $0.763   $0.753 

 

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.  

36 

MIDDLESEX WATER COMPANY

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(In thousands)

 

      December 31,  December 31,
ASSETS     2015  2014
UTILITY PLANT:  Water Production  $142,794   $138,242 
   Transmission and Distribution   398,363    378,154 
   General   61,322    58,851 
   Construction Work in Progress   5,734    8,145 
   TOTAL   608,213    583,392 
   Less Accumulated Depreciation   126,343    117,986 
   UTILITY PLANT - NET   481,870    465,406 
              
CURRENT ASSETS:  Cash and Cash Equivalents   3,469    2,673 
   Accounts Receivable, net   10,060    10,012 
   Unbilled Revenues   6,246    5,937 
   Materials and Supplies (at average cost)   2,600    2,253 
   Prepayments   2,035    1,989 
   TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS   24,410    22,864 
              
DEFERRED CHARGES  Unamortized Debt Expense   3,339    3,474 
AND OTHER ASSETS:  Preliminary Survey and Investigation Charges   2,199    2,211 
   Regulatory Assets   58,552    66,216 
   Operations Contracts, Developer and Other Receivables   2,921    3,313 
   Restricted Cash   439    2,573 
   Non-utility Assets - Net   9,199    9,197 
   Federal Income Tax Receivable   1,408     
   Other   385    518 
   TOTAL DEFERRED CHARGES AND OTHER ASSETS   78,442    87,502 
   TOTAL ASSETS  $584,722   $575,772 
              
CAPITALIZATION AND LIABILITIES          
CAPITALIZATION:  Common Stock, No Par Value  $150,763   $148,668 
   Retained Earnings   55,931    48,623 
   TOTAL COMMON EQUITY   206,694    197,291 
   Preferred Stock   2,436    2,436 
   Long-term Debt   136,247    136,039 
   TOTAL CAPITALIZATION   345,377    335,766 
              
CURRENT  Current Portion of Long-term Debt   5,739    5,910 
LIABILITIES:  Notes Payable   3,000    19,000 
   Accounts Payable   6,525    6,354 
   Accrued Taxes   9,126    8,948 
   Accrued Interest   1,104    1,134 
   Unearned Revenues and Advanced Service Fees   880    839 
   Other   1,945    1,687 
   TOTAL CURRENT LIABILITIES   28,319    43,872 
              
COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENT LIABILITIES (Note 4)          
              
DEFERRED CREDITS  Customer Advances for Construction   20,461    21,978 
AND OTHER LIABILITIES:  Accumulated Deferred Investment Tax Credits   832    910 
   Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes   67,702    47,306 
   Employee Benefit Plans   36,515    45,135 
   Regulatory Liability - Cost of Utility Plant Removal   10,876    10,273 
   Other   1,597    1,277 
   TOTAL DEFERRED CREDITS AND OTHER LIABILITIES   137,983    126,879 
              
CONTRIBUTIONS IN AID OF CONSTRUCTION   73,043    69,255 
   TOTAL CAPITALIZATION AND LIABILITIES  $584,722   $575,772 

 

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.  

37 

MIDDLESEX WATER COMPANY

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(In thousands)

 

   Years Ended December 31,
   2015  2014  2013
CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES:               
Net Income  $20,028   $18,445   $16,633 
Adjustments to Reconcile Net Income to               
Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities:               
Depreciation and Amortization   13,087    12,191    11,858 
Provision for Deferred Income Taxes and Investment Tax Credits   15,753    3,130    2,915 
Equity Portion of Allowance for Funds Used During Construction (AFUDC)   (228)   (207)   (201)
Cash Surrender Value of Life Insurance   (76)   (108)   (226)
Stock Compensation Expense   633    539    493 
Adoption of Repairs on Tangible Property Regulations, net   2,680         
Changes in Assets and Liabilities:               
Accounts Receivable   (48)   1,950    1,201 
Unbilled Revenues   (309)   (285)   (169)
Materials & Supplies   (347)   (269)   (581)
Prepayments   (46)   (261)   527 
Accounts Payable   171    26    2,520 
Accrued Taxes   178    816    (1,134)
Accrued Interest   (30)   (17)   196 
Employee Benefit Plans   (129)   (3,243)   (1,140)
Unearned Revenue & Advanced Service Fees   41    2    81 
Other Assets and Liabilities   (146)   (138)   832 
                
NET CASH PROVIDED BY OPERATING ACTIVITIES   51,212    32,571    33,805 
CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES:               
Utility Plant Expenditures, Including AFUDC of $152 in 2015, $110 in 2014 and $113 in 2013   (25,773)   (22,596)   (20,080)
Restricted Cash   1,390    (100)   323 
Distribution From/(Investment In) Joint Venture       857    (1,655)
                
NET CASH USED IN INVESTING ACTIVITIES   (24,383)   (21,839)   (21,412)
CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES:               
Redemption of Long-term Debt   (6,284)   (5,481)   (11,230)
Proceeds from Issuance of Long-term Debt   7,000    12,246    4,045 
Net Short-term Bank Borrowings   (16,000)   (9,450)   500 
Deferred Debt Issuance Expense   (65)   (141)   (57)
Common Stock Issuance Expense   (22)        
Restricted Cash   744        6,070 
Proceeds from Issuance of Common Stock   1,462    1,493    1,368 
Payment of Common Dividends   (12,553)   (12,231)   (11,943)
Payment of Preferred Dividends   (144)   (151)   (190)
Construction Advances and Contributions-Net   (171)   822    853 
                
NET CASH USED IN FINANCING ACTIVITIES   (26,033)   (12,893)   (10,584)
NET CHANGES IN CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS   796    (2,161)   1,809 
CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS AT BEGINNING OF PERIOD   2,673    4,834    3,025 
CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS AT END OF PERIOD  $3,469   $2,673   $4,834 
                
                
SUPPLEMENTAL DISCLOSURE OF NON-CASH ACTIVITY:               
Utility Plant received as Construction Advances and Contributions  $2,441   $6,598   $3,176 
Long-term Debt Deobligation  $466   $   $64 
SUPPLEMENTAL DISCLOSURE OF CASH FLOWS INFORMATION:               
   Cash Paid During the Year for:               
Interest  $5,702   $5,745   $5,743 
Interest Capitalized  $152   $110   $113 
Income Taxes  $1,391   $5,903   $7,009 

 

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

38 

MIDDLESEX WATER COMPANY

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CAPITAL STOCK

AND LONG-TERM DEBT

(In thousands)

 

   December 31,  December 31,
   2015  2014
Common Stock, No Par Value          
Shares Authorized - 40,000          
Shares Outstanding - 2015 - 16,225  $150,763   $148,668 
  2014 - 16,124          
           
Retained Earnings   55,931    48,623 
  TOTAL COMMON EQUITY  $206,694   $197,291 
           
Cumulative Preferred Stock, No Par Value:          
Shares Authorized - 126          
Shares Outstanding - 24 - 2015; 24 - 2014          
   Convertible:          
Shares Outstanding, $7.00 Series - 2015-10; 2014-10   1,007    1,007 
Shares Outstanding, $8.00 Series - 3   349    349 
   Nonredeemable:          
Shares Outstanding, $7.00 Series - 1   80    80 
Shares Outstanding, $4.75 Series - 10   1,000    1,000 
  TOTAL PREFERRED STOCK  $2,436   $2,436 
           
Long-term Debt:          
   8.05%, Amortizing Secured Note, due December 20, 2021  $1,629   $1,825 
   6.25%, Amortizing Secured Note, due May 19, 2028   5,215    5,635 
   6.44%, Amortizing Secured Note, due August 25, 2030   4,107    4,387 
   6.46%, Amortizing Secured Note, due September 19, 2031   4,387    4,667 
   4.22%, State Revolving Trust Note, due December 31, 2022   376    421 
   3.60%, State Revolving Trust Note, due May 1, 2025   2,267    2,463 
   3.30% State Revolving Trust Note, due March 1, 2026   469    506 
   3.49%, State Revolving Trust Note, due January 25, 2027   501    536 
   4.03%, State Revolving Trust Note, due December 1, 2026   651    697 
   4.00% to 5.00%, State Revolving Trust Bond, due August 1, 2021   254    299 
   0.00%, State Revolving Fund Bond, due August 1, 2021   203    241 
   3.64%, State Revolving Trust Note, due July 1, 2028   294    313 
   3.64%, State Revolving Trust Note, due January 1, 2028   97    104 
   3.45%, State Revolving Trust Note, due August 1, 2031   1,066    1,115 
   6.59%, Amortizing Secured Note, due April 20, 2029   4,651    4,999 
   7.05%, Amortizing Secured Note, due January 20, 2030   3,521    3,771 
   5.69%, Amortizing Secured Note, due January 20, 2030   7,222    7,735 
   4.45%, Amortizing Secured Note, due April 20, 2040   14,707    8,000 
   3.75%, State Revolving Trust Note, due July 1, 2031   2,303    2,411 
   3.75%, State Revolving Trust Note, due November 30, 2030   1,216    1,276 
   First Mortgage Bonds:          
 0.00%, Series X, due September 1, 2018   162    215 
 4.25% to 4.63%, Series Y, due September 1, 2018   185    245 
 0.00%, Series Z, due September 1, 2019   446    559 
 5.25% to 5.75%, Series AA, due September 1, 2019   565    700 
 0.00%, Series BB, due September 1, 2021   723    845 
 4.00% to 5.00%, Series CC, due September 1, 2021   895    1,025 
 0.00%, Series EE, due August 1, 2023   3,132    3,550 
 3.00% to 5.50%, Series FF, due August 1, 2024   3,690    4,900 
 0.00%, Series GG, due August 1, 2026   993    1,083 
 4.00% to 5.00%, Series HH, due August 1, 2026   1,300    1,390 
 0.00%, Series II, due August 1, 2024   789    881 
 3.40% to 5.00%, Series JJ, due August 1, 2027   1,010    1,090 
 0.00%, Series KK, due August 1, 2028   1,167    1,255 
 5.00% to 5.50%, Series LL, due August 1, 2028   1,365    1,435 
 0.00%, Series MM, due August 1, 2030   1,437    1,537 
 3.00% to 4.375%, Series NN, due August 1, 2030   1,675    1,755 
 0.00%, Series OO, due August 1, 2031   2,408    2,559 
 2.00% to 5.00%, Series PP, due August 1, 2031   815    850 
 5.00%, Series QQ, due October 1, 2023   9,915    9,915 
 3.80%, Series RR, due October 1, 2038   22,500    22,500 
 4.25%, Series SS, due October 1, 2047   23,000    23,000 
 0.00%, Series TT, due August 1, 2032   2,559    2,709 
 3.00% to 3.25%, Series UU, due August 1, 2032   935    975 
 0.00%, Series VV, due August 1, 2033   2,577    2,720 
 3.00% to 5.00%, Series WW, due August 1, 2033   900    935 
 SUBTOTAL LONG-TERM DEBT   140,279    140,029 
Add: Premium on Issuance of Long-term Debt   1,707    1,920 
Less: Current Portion of Long-term Debt   (5,739)   (5,910)
   TOTAL LONG-TERM DEBT  $136,247   $136,039 

 

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.  

39 

MIDDLESEX WATER COMPANY

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMMON STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

(In thousands)

 

   Common   Common         
   Stock   Stock   Retained     
   Shares   Amount   Earnings   Total 
                 
Balance at January 1, 2013   15,795   $143,572   $38,060   $181,632 
                     
Net Income             16,633    16,633 
Dividend Reinvestment & Common Stock Purchase Plan   82    1,653         1,653 
Restricted Stock Award, Net - Employees   26    388         388 
Stock Award - Board Of Directors   5    105         105 
Conversion of $8.00 Convertible Preferred Stock   55    467         467 
Cash Dividends on Common Stock             (11,943)   (11,943)
Cash Dividends on Preferred Stock             (190)   (190)
Balance at December 31, 2013   15,963   $146,185   $42,560   $188,745 
                     
Net Income             18,445    18,445 
Dividend Reinvestment & Common Stock Purchase Plan   71    1,493         1,493 
Restricted Stock Award, Net - Employees   33    434         434 
Stock Award - Board Of Directors   5    105         105 
Conversion of $7.00 Convertible Preferred Stock   52    451         451 
Cash Dividends on Common Stock             (12,231)   (12,231)
Cash Dividends on Preferred Stock             (151)   (151)
Balance at December 31, 2014   16,124   $148,668   $48,623   $197,291 
                     
Net Income             20,028    20,028 
Dividend Reinvestment & Common Stock Purchase Plan   63    1,462         1,462 
Restricted Stock Award, Net - Employees   33    528         528 
Stock Award - Board Of Directors   5    105         105 
Cash Dividends on Common Stock             (12,554)   (12,554)
Cash Dividends on Preferred Stock             (144)   (144)
Common Stock Expenses             (22)   (22)
Balance at December 31, 2015   16,225   $150,763   $55,931   $206,694 

 

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.  

40 

 

MIDDLESEX WATER COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

Note 1 – Organization, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Recent Developments

 

(a) Organization - Middlesex Water Company (Middlesex) is the parent company and sole shareholder of Tidewater Utilities, Inc. (Tidewater), Tidewater Environmental Services, Inc. (TESI), Pinelands Water Company (Pinelands Water) and Pinelands Wastewater Company (Pinelands Wastewater) (collectively, Pinelands), Utility Service Affiliates, Inc. (USA), Utility Service Affiliates (Perth Amboy) Inc. (USA-PA) and Twin Lakes Utilities, Inc. (Twin Lakes). Southern Shores Water Company, LLC (Southern Shores) and White Marsh Environmental Systems, Inc. (White Marsh) are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Tidewater.

 

Middlesex Water Company has operated as a water utility in New Jersey since 1897, in Delaware, through our wholly-owned subsidiary, Tidewater, since 1992 and in Pennsylvania, through our wholly-owned subsidiary, Twin Lakes, since 2009. We are in the business of collecting, treating, distributing and selling water for domestic, commercial, municipal, industrial and fire protection purposes. We also operate New Jersey municipal water, wastewater and storm water systems under contract and provide unregulated water and wastewater services in New Jersey and Delaware through our subsidiaries. We also have an investment in a joint venture, Ridgewood Green RME, LLC, that owns and operates facilities which optimize the production of electricity at the Village of Ridgewood, New Jersey wastewater treatment plant and other municipal facilities. Our rates charged to customers for water and wastewater services, the quality of services we provide and certain other matters are regulated in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU), Delaware Public Service Commission (DEPSC) and Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PAPUC), respectively. Our USA, USA-PA and White Marsh subsidiaries are not regulated utilities.

 

(b) Principles of Consolidation The financial statements for Middlesex and its wholly-owned subsidiaries (the Company) are reported on a consolidated basis. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated. Other financial investments in which the Company holds a 50% or less voting interest and cannot exercise control over the operation and policies of the investments are accounted for under the equity method of accounting. Under the equity method of accounting, the Company records its investment interests in Non Utility Assets and its percentage share of the earnings or losses of the investees in Other Income (Expense).

 

(c) System of Accounts Middlesex, Pinelands Water and Pinelands Wastewater maintain their accounts in accordance with the Uniform System of Accounts prescribed by the NJBPU. Tidewater, TESI and Southern Shores maintain their accounts in accordance with DEPSC requirements. Twin Lakes maintains its accounts in accordance with PAPUC requirements.

 

(d) Regulatory Accounting - We maintain our books and records in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Middlesex and certain of its subsidiaries, which account for 88% of Operating Revenues and 99% of Total Assets, are subject to regulation in the state in which they operate. Those companies are required to maintain their accounts in accordance with regulatory authorities’ rules and guidelines, which may differ from other authoritative accounting pronouncements. In those instances, the Company follows the guidance provided in Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 980, Regulated Operations.

 

In accordance with ASC 980, Regulated Operations, costs and obligations are deferred if it is probable that these items will be recognized for rate-making purposes in future rates. Accordingly, we have recorded costs and obligations, which will be amortized over various future periods. Any change in the assessment of the probability of rate-making treatment will require us to change the accounting treatment of the deferred item. We have no reason to believe any of the deferred items that are recorded will be treated differently by the regulators in the future. For additional information, see Note 2 – Rate and Regulatory Matters.

 

(e) Retirement Benefit Plans - We maintain a noncontributory defined benefit pension plan (Pension Plan) which covers substantially all active employees who were hired prior to April 1, 2007. In addition, the Company maintains an unfunded supplemental plan for its executive officers. The Company has a retirement benefit plan other than pensions (Other Benefits Plan) for substantially all of its retired employees. Employees hired after March 31, 2007 are not eligible to participate in this plan. Coverage includes healthcare and life insurance.

41 

 

The Company’s costs for providing retirement benefits are dependent upon numerous factors, including actual plan experience and assumptions of future experience. Retirement benefit plan obligations and expense are determined based on investment performance, discount rates and various other demographic factors related to the population participating in the Company’s retirement benefit plans, all of which can change significantly in future years. For more information on the Company’s Retirement Benefit Plans, see Note 7 – Employee Benefit Plans.

 

(f) Utility Plant Utility Plant is stated at original cost as defined for regulatory purposes. Property accounts are charged with the cost of betterments and major replacements of property. Cost includes direct material, labor and indirect charges for pension benefits and payroll taxes. The cost of labor, materials, supervision and other expenses incurred in making repairs and minor replacements and in maintaining the properties is charged to the appropriate expense accounts. At December 31, 2015, there was no event or change in circumstance that would indicate that the carrying amount of any long-lived asset was not recoverable.

 

(g) Depreciation Depreciation is computed by each regulated member of the Company utilizing a rate approved by the applicable regulatory authority. The accumulated provision for depreciation is charged with the cost of property retired, less salvage. The following table sets forth the range of depreciation rates for the major utility plant categories used to calculate depreciation for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013. These rates have been approved by the NJBPU, DEPSC or PAPUC:

 

Source of Supply 1.15% -   3.44% Transmission and Distribution (T&D):
Pumping 2.87% -   5.39% T&D – Mains 1.10%  -   3.13%
Water Treatment 1.65% -   7.09% T&D – Services 2.12%  -   3.16%
General Plant 2.08% - 17.84% T&D – Other 1.61%  -   4.63%

 

Non-regulated fixed assets consist primarily of office buildings, furniture and fixtures, and transportation equipment. These assets are recorded at original cost and depreciation is calculated based on the estimated useful lives, ranging from 3 to 40 years.

 

(h) Preliminary Survey and Investigation (PS&I) Costs In the design of water and wastewater systems that the Company ultimately intends to construct, own and operate certain expenditures are incurred to advance those project activities. These PS&I costs are recorded as deferred charges on the balance sheet because these costs are expected to be recovered through future rates charged to customers as the underlying projects are placed into service as utility plant. If it is subsequently determined that costs for a project recorded as PS&I are not recoverable through rates charged to our customers, the applicable PS&I costs are recorded as Other Expense on the statement of income at that time.

 

(i) Customers’ Advances for Construction (CAC)Utility plant and/or cash advances are provided to the Company by customers, real estate developers and builders in order to extend utility service to their properties. These transactions are recorded as CAC. Contractual Refunds of CACs in the form of cash are made by the Company and are based on either additional operating revenues generated from new customers or as new customers are connected to the respective system. After all refunds are made and/or contract terms have expired, any remaining balance is transferred to Contributions in Aid of Construction.

 

Contributions in Aid of Construction (CIAC) – CIAC include direct non-refundable contributions of utility plant and/or cash and the portion of CAC that becomes non-refundable.

 

CAC and CIAC are not depreciated in accordance with regulatory requirements. In addition, these amounts reduce the investment base for purposes of setting rates.

 

42 

(j) Allowance for Funds Used During Construction (AFUDC) - Middlesex and its regulated subsidiaries capitalize AFUDC, which represents the cost of financing projects during construction. AFUDC is added to the construction costs of individual projects exceeding specific cost and construction period thresholds established for each company and then depreciated along with the rest of the utility plant’s costs over its estimated useful life. AFUDC is calculated using each company’s weighted cost of debt and equity as approved in their most recent respective regulatory rate order. The AFUDC rates for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013 for Middlesex and Tidewater are as follows:

 

   2015   2014   2013 
Middlesex   6.72%   7.03%   7.34%
Tidewater   7.92%   7.91%   7.91%

 

(k) Accounts Receivable – We record bad debt expense based on historical write-offs combined with an evaluation of current conditions. The allowance for doubtful accounts was $0.8 million and $0.7 million as of December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. For the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, bad debt expense was $0.8 million, $0.7 million and $0.7 million, respectively. For the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, write-offs were $0.6 million, $0.6 million and $0.9 million, respectively. Receivables not expected to be received in 2016 are included as non-current assets in Operations Contracts, Developer and Other Receivables.

 

(l) Revenues - Retail customer invoices for regulated utility service are typically comprised of two components; a fixed service charge and a volumetric or consumption charge. Revenues from retail customers, except Tidewater fixed service charges, include amounts billed in arrears on a cycle basis and unbilled amounts estimated from the last meter reading date to the end of the accounting period. The estimated unbilled amounts are determined by utilizing factors which include historical volumetric or consumption usage and current climate and economic conditions. Actual billings may differ from our estimates. Tidewater customers are billed in advance for their fixed service charge and these revenues are recognized as the service is provided to the customer.

 

Southern Shores is an unmetered system. Customers are billed a fixed service charge in advance at the beginning of each month and revenues are recognized as earned.

 

Customers in portions of the TESI system are billed a fixed service charge in arrears.

 

Revenues from the City of Perth Amboy management contract are comprised of fixed and variable fees. Fixed fees, which have been set for the life of the contract, are billed monthly and recorded as earned. Variable fees, which are not significant, are recorded upon approval of the amount by the City of Perth Amboy.

 

Revenues from USA’s operations and maintenance contract for the Borough of Avalon, New Jersey (Avalon) water utility, sewer utility and storm water system are fixed for the life of the contract, are billed monthly and recorded as earned. USA also provides services to Avalon in addition to the base services provided under the operation and maintenance contract. These additional services are recorded as earned and billed upon approval of Avalon.

 

(m) Deferred Charges and Other Assets - Unamortized Debt Expense is amortized over the lives of the related issues. Restricted Cash represents proceeds from loans entered into through state financing programs and is held in trusts. The proceeds are restricted for specific capital expenditures and debt service requirements.

 

(n) Income Taxes - Middlesex files a consolidated federal income tax return for the Company and income taxes are allocated based on the separate return method. Investment tax credits have been deferred and are amortized over the estimated useful life of the related property. For more information on income taxes, see Note 3 – Income Taxes.

 

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(o) Statements of Cash Flows - For purposes of reporting cash flows, the Company considers all highly liquid investments with original maturity dates of three months or less to be cash equivalents. Cash and cash equivalents represent bank balances and money market funds with investments maturing in less than 90 days.

 

(p) Use of Estimates - Conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts in the financial statements. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

 

(q) Recent Accounting Pronouncements

 

Revenue Recognition - In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued an update to authoritative guidance related to revenue from contracts with customers. The update replaces most of the existing guidance with a single set of principles for recognizing revenue from contracts with customers. The FASB has deferred the effective date of these new revenue recognition standards by one year to January 1, 2018. The Company is currently analyzing the impact this standard will have on our financial statements.

 

Consolidation - In February 2015, the FASB issued guidance that amends the consolidation analysis for variable interest entities (“VIEs”) as well as voting interest entities. The amendments under the new guidance modify the evaluation of whether limited partnerships and similar legal entities are VIEs or voting interest entities and eliminate the presumption that a general partner should consolidate a limited partnership. The guidance is effective January 1, 2016 and early adoption is permitted. The guidance may be applied retrospectively to each prior reporting period presented or retrospectively with a cumulative effect adjustment to retained earnings for initial application of the guidance at the date of adoption. The adoption of this guidance will not have a material impact on the Company’s financial statements.

 

Debt Issuance Costs - In April 2015, the FASB issued an update to authoritative guidance related to the presentation of debt issuance costs on the balance sheet, requiring companies to present debt issuance costs as a direct deduction from the carrying value of debt, which the Company will adopt beginning January 1, 2016. The new guidance must be applied retrospectively to each prior period presented. The adoption of this guidance will have no impact on the Company’s statements of income or cash flows and will not have a material impact on the Company’s balance sheet.

 

Inventory - In July 2015, the FASB issued guidance on simplifying the measurement of inventory. The new guidance replaces the current lower of cost or market test with a lower of cost or net realizable value test when cost is determined on a first-in, first-out or average cost basis. The guidance is effective January 1, 2017 with early adoption permitted. The adoption of this guidance is not expected to have a material impact on the Company’s financial statements.

 

Deferred Income Taxes – In November 2015, the FASB issued guidance on the classification of deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities, requiring entities to present them as noncurrent on the balance sheet. The guidance is effective January 1, 2016 and will not have a material impact on the Company’s balance sheet.

 

Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities - In January 2016, the FASB issued guidance which (i) requires all investments in equity securities, including other ownership interests such as partnerships, unincorporated joint ventures and limited liability companies, to be carried at fair value through net income, (ii) requires an incremental recognition and disclosure requirement related to the presentation of fair value changes of financial liabilities for which the fair value option has been elected, (iii) amends several disclosure requirements, including the methods and significant assumptions used to estimate fair value or a description of the changes in the methods and assumptions used to estimate fair value, and (iv) requires disclosure of the fair value of financial assets and liabilities measured at amortized cost at the amount that would be received to sell the asset or paid to transfer the liability. The guidance is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017 with early adoption permitted. The guidance is required to be applied retrospectively with a cumulative effect adjustment to retained earnings for initial application of the guidance at the date of adoption (modified retrospective method). The Company is currently analyzing the impact this standard will have on our financial statements.

44 

 

There are no other new adopted or proposed accounting guidance that the Company is aware of that could have a material impact on the Company’s financial statements.

 

(r) Recent Developments

 

Middlesex Base Water Rate Increase - In the third quarter of 2015, Middlesex implemented a base water rate increase of $5.0 million. The base water rate increase was necessitated by declining consumption by Middlesex’s Commercial and Industrial class customers, increasing benefit costs for active and retired employees, capital infrastructure investments, and regulation-driven increases in other operations and maintenance costs. See Note 2 – Rate and Regulatory Matters below for further discussion of this base water rate increase.

 

Pinelands and Twin Lakes Rate Increase Requests In the fourth quarter of 2015, Pinelands Water, Pinelands Wastewater and Twin Lakes filed base rate increase requests with their respective utility commissions, seeking permission to increase base rates by approximately $0.3 million, $0.2 million and $0.2 million per year, respectively. See Note 2 – Rate and Regulatory Matters below for further discussion of these base rate increase requests.

 

Note 2 - Rate and Regulatory Matters

 

Rate Matters

 

Middlesex - In August 2015, Middlesex’s Petition to the NJBPU seeking permission to increase base water rates was concluded, based on a negotiated settlement, resulting in an increase in annual operating revenues of $5.0 million. The base water rate increase request of $9.5 million, filed in March 2015, was necessitated by declining consumption by Middlesex’s Commercial and Industrial class customers, increasing benefit costs for active and retired employees, capital infrastructure investments and regulation-driven increases in other operations and maintenance costs. The new base water rates are designed to recover the increased costs and lost revenues, as well as a return on invested capital in rate base of $219.0 million, based on a return on equity of 9.75%. The rate increase became effective on August 29, 2015, which was significantly earlier than under standard procedural schedules. Concurrent with the increase Middlesex was required to reset its Distribution System Improvement Charge (DSIC) to zero. A DSIC is a rate-mechanism that allows water utilities to recover investments in, and generate a return on, qualifying capital improvements to their water distribution system made between base rate proceedings. The Middlesex DSIC had been in effect since May 2015, and had generated less than $0.1 million of revenues.

 

In June 2014, Middlesex’s Petition to the NJBPU seeking permission to increase base water rates was partially approved, granting an increase in annual operating revenues of $4.2 million. The originally-filed base water rate increase request of $10.6 million, filed in November 2013 (subsequently revised to $8.1 million, primarily resulting from lower employee benefit plan costs), was necessitated by capital investments Middlesex had made, or committed to make, increased operations and maintenance costs and reduced revenues resulting from the expiration of a wholesale water sales contract with the Borough of Sayreville, New Jersey in August 2013. In addition, Middlesex’s largest retail water customer, Hess Corporation, ceased its oil refining operations at its Port Reading, New Jersey facility in February 2013. The new base water rates were designed to recover the increased costs and lost revenues, as well as a return on invested capital in rate base of $208.6 million, based on a return on equity of 9.75%. The rate increase became effective on July 20, 2014.

 

Tidewater - The DEPSC approved a $0.8 million increase in Tidewater’s annual base water rates, effective August 19, 2014. The originally-filed base water rate increase request of $3.9 million, filed in November 2013 (subsequently revised to $2.5 million, primarily resulting from lower employee benefit plan costs), was necessitated by capital investments Tidewater had made, or committed to make, as well as increased operations and maintenance costs. In connection with the rate increase application, Tidewater implemented a DEPSC

45 

approved 6.5% interim rate increase, subject to refund, on February 6, 2014. Since the final required and approved rate increase was less than the interim rate increase, Tidewater refunded $0.4 million of previously deferred revenues to customers in the form of a one-time credit to each customer account.

 

Effective January 1, 2016, Tidewater increased its DEPSC-approved DSIC rate, which is expected to generate additional revenues of approximately $0.2 million annually.

 

In April 2014, the DEPSC approved Tidewater’s 50-year agreement with the United States Department of Defense for the privatization of the water system of Dover Air Force Base (DAFB) in Dover, Delaware. On October 1, 2014, Tidewater assumed ownership of the DAFB water utility assets and began providing regulated water service to DAFB under Tidewater’s DEPSC approved tariff rates.

 

TESI - On October 1, 2013, TESI closed on its DEPSC-approved purchase of the wastewater utility assets of the Plantations development (the Plantations) for $0.4 million and began providing wastewater services to the 600 residential customers in the Plantations in Delaware. Upon commencing service to the Plantations, annual revenues were approximately $0.2 million. In October 2014, TESI implemented a 33.5% Plantations base wastewater rate increase (approximately $0.1 million annually).

 

Pinelands - In October 2015, Pinelands Water and Pinelands Wastewater filed separate petitions with the NJBPU seeking permission to increase base rates by approximately $0.3 million and $0.2 million per year, respectively. These requests were necessitated by capital infrastructure investments both companies have made, or have committed to make, increased operations and maintenance costs and lower non-fixed fee revenues for both companies. We cannot predict whether the NJBPU will ultimately approve, deny, or reduce the amount of the requests. A decision by the NJBPU in either matter is not expected until the third quarter of 2016.

 

In March 2013, the NJBPU approved a combined $0.2 million increase in Pinelands Water and Pinelands Wastewater’s annual base water and wastewater revenues. In its initial request, filed in August 2012, Pinelands had sought an increase of $0.3 million on a combined basis. The rate increase for water service, which was approximately 50% of the approved increase, was phased-in over one year.

 

Southern Shores - Under the terms of a multi-year DEPSC-approved agreement expiring in 2020, customer rates will increase on January 1st of each year to generate additional annual revenue of $0.1 million with each increase.

 

Twin Lakes - In November 2015, Twin Lakes filed a Petition with the PAPUC seeking permission to increase its base water rates by approximately $0.2 million per year. This request was necessitated by capital infrastructure investments Twin Lakes has made, or committed to make, and increased operations and maintenance costs. We cannot predict whether the PAPUC will ultimately approve, deny, or reduce the amount of the requests. A decision by the PAPUC is not expected until the third quarter of 2016.

 

Regulatory Matters

 

We have recorded certain costs as regulatory assets because we expect full recovery of, or are currently recovering, these costs in the rates we charge customers. These deferred costs have been excluded from rate base and, therefore, we are not earning a return on the unamortized balances. These items are detailed as follows:

 

   (Thousands of Dollars)    
   December 31,   Remaining
   Regulatory Assets  2015   2014   Recovery  Periods
Retirement Benefits  $39,378   $47,868   Various
Income Taxes   15,541    17,195   Various
Rate Cases, Tank Painting, and Other   3,633    1,153   2-9 years
Total  $58,552   $66,216    

 

46 

Retirement benefits include pension and other retirement benefits that have been recorded on the Consolidated Balance Sheet in accordance with the guidance provided in ASC 715, Compensation – Retirement Benefits. These amounts represent obligations in excess of current funding, which the Company believes will be fully recovered in rates set by the regulatory authorities.

 

The recovery period for income taxes is dependent upon when the temporary differences between the tax and book treatment of various items reverse.

 

The Company uses composite depreciation rates for its regulated utility assets, which is currently an acceptable method under generally accepted accounting principles and is widely used in the utility industry. Historically, under the composite depreciation method, the anticipated costs of removing assets upon retirement are provided for over the life of those assets as a component of depreciation expense. The Company recovers certain asset retirement costs through rates charged to customers as an approved component of depreciation expense. As of December 31, 2015 and 2014, the Company has approximately $10.9 million and $10.3 million, respectively, of expected costs of removal recovered currently in rates in excess of actual costs incurred as regulatory liabilities.

 

The Company is recovering in current rates acquisition premiums totaling $0.6 million over the remaining lives of the underlying Utility Plant. These deferred costs have been included in rate base as utility plant and a return is being earned on the unamortized balances during the recovery periods.

 

Note 3 – Income Taxes

 

Income tax expense differs from the amount computed by applying the statutory rate on book income subject to tax for the following reasons:

 

   (Thousands of Dollars)
   Years Ended December 31,
   2015  2014  2013
Income Tax at Statutory Rate  $ 10,703    $ 9,786    $ 8,638  
Tax Effect of:               
  Utility Plant Related   (920)   (572)   (527)
  State Income Taxes – Net   745    711    546 
  Employee Benefits   7    (6)   (46)
  Other   16    18    10 
Total Income Tax Expense  $10,551   $9,937   $8,621 

 

Income tax expense is comprised of the following:

 

   (Thousands of Dollars)
   Years Ended December 31,
   2015  2014  2013
Current:               
   Federal  $(15,203)  $5,920   $5,018 
   State   1,153    887    688 
Deferred:               
   Federal   24,686    3,018    2,855 
   State   (6)   191    139 
   Investment Tax Credits   (79)   (79)   (79)
Total Income Tax Expense  $10,551   $9,937   $8,621 

 

The statutory review periods for income tax returns for the years prior to 2012 have been closed. The Company has been notified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that the Company’s 2014 federal income tax return has been selected for examination. In the event that there is interest and penalties associated with income tax adjustments in future examinations, these amounts will be reported under interest expense and other expense, respectively. Other than the effects of the provision against refundable taxes discussed below, there are no unrecognized tax benefits resulting from prior period tax positions.

47 

 

Deferred income taxes reflect the net tax effect of temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities for financial purposes and the amounts used for income tax purposes. The components of the net deferred tax liability are as follows:

 

   (Thousands of Dollars)
   December 31,
   2015  2014
Utility Plant Related  $63,281   $43,996 
Customer Advances   (3,510)   (3,570)
Employee Benefits   5,796    7,223 
Investment Tax Credits (ITC)   832    910 
Net Operating Loss Carryforwards   2,311     
Other   (176)   (343)
Total Deferred Tax Liability and ITC  $68,534   $48,216 

 

The IRS has issued final regulations pertaining to the deductibility of costs that qualify as repairs on tangible property. The regulations, which the Company adopted by filing a change in accounting method request with its 2014 Federal income tax return, redefine the characteristics previously used by the Company to determine tax deductibility of expenditures associated with tangible property. Under the regulations, the IRS has provided guidelines for certain industries, but not for regulated public water utilities. Consequently, the Company undertook a comprehensive study to support the adoption and integration of the new regulations into its tax policies prospectively, and to also determine the level of deductibility for income tax purposes for expenditures incurred on projects completed in prior years where such expenditures were capitalized, but may now be considered currently deductible as repairs under the new regulations. Included in its 2014 Federal income tax return, filed in September 2015, the Company submitted support which results in a net reduction of $17.6 million in taxes due to the federal government. While the Company believes that the deduction for qualifying tangible property repair costs included in its tax return is proper, it could be challenged under an examination by the IRS. Therefore, the Company has recorded a provision against refundable taxes of $2.3 million. The Company believes that the net operating loss carry-forward, expiring in 2034, resulting from adoption of the regulations (approximately $7.8 million) is more likely than not to be recovered.

 

It is probable that any net tax benefits that resulted from adopting the study findings will be considered in determining the revenue requirement used to set base rates for the Company in a future regulatory proceeding. Consequently, adoption of the new regulations did not and will not have a significant impact on the Company’s financial statements or effective tax rate. Adoption of these new regulations resulted in a $10.3 million federal income tax refund request, a $1.5 million increase in regulatory assets for additional expenses incurred expected to be recovered from customers in the future, a $5.0 million decrease in accrued taxes for the amount of refund applied against future tax payments and a $16.8 million increase in accumulated deferred income taxes.

 

Note 4 - Commitments and Contingent Liabilities

 

Water Supply - Middlesex has an agreement with the New Jersey Water Supply Authority (NJWSA) for the purchase of untreated water through November 30, 2023, which provides for an average purchase of 27.0 million gallons a day (mgd). Pricing is set annually by the NJWSA through a public rate making process. The agreement has provisions for additional pricing in the event Middlesex overdrafts or exceeds certain monthly and annual thresholds.

 

Middlesex also has an agreement with a non-affiliated regulated water utility for the purchase of treated water. This agreement, which expires February 27, 2021, provides for the minimum purchase of 3.0 mgd of treated water with provisions for additional purchases.

 

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Tidewater contracts with the City of Dover, Delaware to purchase treated water 15.0 million gallons annually.

 

Purchased water costs are shown below:

 

   (Millions of Dollars) 
   Years Ended December 31, 
Purchased Water  2015   2014   2013 
Untreated  $2.5   $2.4   $2.4 
Treated   3.1    3.1    3.2 
Total Costs  $5.6   $5.5   $5.6 

 

Contract Operations - USA-PA operates the City of Perth Amboy, New Jersey’s (Perth Amboy) water and wastewater systems under a 20-year agreement, which expires in 2018. In connection with the agreement with Perth Amboy, USA-PA entered into a 20-year subcontract with a wastewater operating company for the operation and maintenance of the Perth Amboy wastewater collection system. The subcontract provides for the sharing of certain fixed and variable fees and operating expenses.

 

Guarantees - In September 2013, Middlesex entered into an agreement with the County of Monmouth, New Jersey (Monmouth County) to serve as guarantor of the performance of Applied Water Management, Inc. (AWM) to operate a leachate pretreatment facility, owned by Monmouth County, at the Monmouth County Reclamation Center in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. Middlesex expects to act as guarantor of AWM’s performance through at least August 2018 and is contractually obligated to act as guarantor of AWM’s performance through 2028 unless another guarantor, acceptable to Monmouth County, is identified.  In addition, Middlesex entered into agreements with AWM and Natural Systems Utilities, Inc. (NSU), the parent company of AWM, whereby, Middlesex earns a fee for providing the guaranty of AWM’s performance to Monmouth County, Middlesex provides operational support to the project if necessary, and AWM and NSU, serving as guarantor to Middlesex with respect to the performance of AWM, indemnify Middlesex against any claims that may arise under the Middlesex guaranty to Monmouth County.

 

Middlesex believes it is unlikely any payments would need to be made under Middlesex’s guaranty of AWM’s performance to Monmouth County. If asked to perform under the guaranty to Monmouth County, and, if AWM and NSU, as guarantor to Middlesex, do not fulfill their obligations to indemnify Middlesex against any claims that may arise under the Middlesex guaranty to Monmouth County, Middlesex would be required to fulfill the remaining operational commitments of AWM. As of December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014, the liability recognized in Other Non-Current Liabilities on the balance sheet for the guaranty is approximately $0.2 million and $0.3 million, respectively.

 

Construction –The Company has projected to spend up to $47.3 million in 2016, $45.4 million in 2017 and $67.0 million in 2018 on its construction program. The actual amount and timing of capital expenditures is dependent on the need for replacement of existing infrastructure, customer growth, residential new home construction and sales, project scheduling and continued refinement of project scope and costs. There is no assurance that projected customer growth and residential new home construction and sales will occur.

 

Litigation – The Company is a defendant in lawsuits in the normal course of business. We believe the resolution of pending claims and legal proceedings will not have a material adverse effect on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

 

Change in Control Agreements – The Company has Change in Control Agreements with certain of its officers that provide compensation and benefits in the event of termination of employment in connection with a change in control of the Company.

 

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Note 5 – Short-term Borrowings

 

Information regarding the Company’s short-term borrowings for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014 is summarized below:

 

   (Millions of  Dollars)
   2015  2014
Established Lines at Year-End  $60.0   $60.0 
Maximum Amount Outstanding   19.0    33.5 
Average Outstanding   15.3    27.4 
Notes Payable at Year-End   3.0    19.0 
Weighted Average Interest Rate   1.19%   1.41%
Weighted Average Interest Rate at Year-End   1.41%   1.17%

 

The maturity dates for the Notes Payable as of December 31, 2015 are in January 2016 and are extendable at the discretion of the Company.

 

Interest rates for short-term borrowings are below the prime rate with no requirement for compensating balances.

 

Note 6 - Capitalization

 

All the transactions discussed below related to the issuance of securities were approved by either the NJBPU or DEPSC, except where otherwise noted.

 

Common Stock

 

The Company periodically issues shares of common stock in connection with its Middlesex Water Company Investment Plan (the Investment Plan), a direct share purchase and sale and dividend reinvestment plan for Middlesex common stock. In July 2015, the Company registered an additional 700,000 common shares for potential issuance under the Investment Plan with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, increasing the number of NJBPU-authorized shares to 3.0 million. The cumulative number of shares issued under the Investment Plan at December 31, 2015 is 2.3 million. For the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, the Company raised approximately $1.5 million, $1.5 million and $1.7 million, respectively, through the issuance of shares under the Investment Plan.

 

The Company issues shares under a restricted stock plan for certain management employees, which is described in Note 7 – Employee Benefit Plans.

 

The Company maintains a stock plan for its outside directors (the Outside Director Stock Compensation Plan). For the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, 4,795, 5,082 and 5,432 shares, respectively, of common stock were granted and issued to the Company’s outside directors under the Outside Director Stock Compensation Plan and 72,120 shares remain available for future awards. The maximum number of shares authorized for grant under the Outside Director Stock Compensation Plan is 100,000.

 

In the event dividends on the preferred stock are in arrears, no dividends may be declared or paid on the common stock of the Company. At December 31, 2015, no preferred stock dividends were in arrears.

 

Preferred Stock

 

If four or more quarterly dividends are in arrears, the preferred shareholders, as a class, are entitled to elect two members to the Board of Directors in addition to Directors elected by holders of the common stock.

 

At December 31, 2015 and 2014, there were 0.1 million shares of preferred stock authorized and less than 0.1 million shares of preferred stock outstanding. There were no preferred stock dividends in arrears.

 

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The Company may not pay any dividends on its common stock unless full cumulative dividends to the preceding dividend date for all outstanding shares of preferred stock have been paid or set aside for payment. All such preferred dividends have been paid. In addition, if Middlesex were to liquidate, holders of preferred stock would be paid back the stated value of their preferred shares before any distributions could be made to common stockholders.

 

The conversion feature of the no par $7.00 Series Cumulative and Convertible Preferred Stock allows the security holders to exchange one convertible preferred share for twelve shares of the Company's common stock. In addition, the Company may redeem up to 10% of the outstanding convertible stock in any calendar year at a price equal to the fair value of twelve shares of the Company's common stock for each share of convertible stock redeemed. In 2014, 4,293 shares (approximately $0.5 million) of the Company’s no par $7.00 Series Cumulative and Convertible Preferred Stock were converted into 51,516 shares of common stock.

 

The conversion feature of the no par $8.00 Series Cumulative and Convertible Preferred Stock allows the security holders to exchange one convertible preferred share for 13.714 shares of the Company's common stock. The preferred shares are convertible into common stock at the election of the security holder or Middlesex. In 2013, 4,000 shares (approximately $0.5 million) of the Company’s no par $8.00 Series Cumulative and Convertible Preferred Stock were converted into 54,856 shares of common stock.

 

Long-term Debt

 

In 2014, Tidewater completed a $15.0 million debt transaction. Tidewater drew down $8.0 million in 2014 and the remaining $7.0 million in 2015. $11.0 million of the loan is at a fixed interest rate of 4.45% and $4.0 million is at a market-based variable interest rate. The proceeds were used to pay down short-term debt and for other general corporate purposes. The interest rates on the variable portion of the loan can be fixed at Tidewater’s discretion. The final maturity date of all borrowings under this loan agreement is April 2040.

 

In May 2014, Middlesex borrowed approximately $3.8 million through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT) under the New Jersey State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan program and issued first mortgage bonds designated as Series VV (approximately $2.8 million) and Series WW (approximately $0.9 million). The interest rate on the Series VV bond is zero and the interest rate on the Series WW bond ranges from 3.0% to 5.0% depending on the serial maturity date. The final maturity date for both bonds is August 1, 2033. Proceeds were used for the Middlesex 2014 RENEW project, which is part of a program to clean and cement all unlined mains in the Middlesex system.

 

In 2014, Tidewater borrowed $0.6 million, which represented the balance of a $1.1 million project specific loan with the Delaware SRF at an interest rate of 3.45% and final maturity of August 1, 2031.

 

Bond Series QQ, RR and SS are term bonds with single maturity dates subsequent to 2020. Principal repayments for all series of the Company’s long-term debt except for Bond Series X, Y, Z and AA extend beyond 2020. The aggregate annual principal repayment obligations for all long-term debt over the next five years are shown below:

 

Year 

(Millions of Dollars)

Annual Maturities

2016  $5.7 
2017  $6.0 
2018  $6.4 
2019  $6.4 
2020  $6.3 

 

The weighted average interest rate on all long-term debt at both December 31, 2015 and 2014 was 3.87% and 3.99%, respectively. Except for the Amortizing Secured Notes ($45.4 million), all of the Company’s outstanding long-term debt has been issued through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority ($55.4 million), the NJEIT program ($30.2 million) and the Delaware SRF program ($9.3 million).

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Restricted cash proceeds from New Jersey SRF loans are held in trusts until authorized for distribution. In addition, certain restricted cash proceeds from New Jersey SRF loans are held for debt service requirements.

 

In 2015 and 2013, the NJEIT de-obligated principal payments of $0.5 million and $0.1 million, respectively, on several series of SRF long-term debt. There were no de-obligated principal payments in 2014.

 

Substantially all of the Utility Plant of the Company is subject to the lien of its mortgage, which includes debt service and capital ratio covenants. The Company is in compliance with all of its mortgage covenants and restrictions.

 

Earnings Per Share

 

The following table presents the calculation of basic and diluted earnings per share (EPS) for the three years ended December 31, 2015. Basic EPS is computed on the basis of the weighted average number of shares outstanding. Diluted EPS assumes the conversion of both the Convertible Preferred Stock $7.00 Series and $8.00 Series.

 

   (In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)
   2015  2014  2013
Basic:  Income  Shares  Income  Shares  Income  Shares
Net Income  $20,028    16,175   $18,445    16,052   $16,633    15,868 
Preferred Dividend   (144)        (151)        (190)     
Earnings Applicable to Common Stock  $19,884    16,175   $18,294    16,052   $16,443    15,868 
Basic EPS  $1.23        $1.14        $1.04      
Diluted:                              
Earnings Applicable to Common Stock  $19,884    16,175   $18,294    16,052   $16,443    15,868 
$7.00 Series Dividend   67    115    74    133    97    166 
$8.00 Series Dividend   24    41    24    41    40    76 
Adjusted Earnings Applicable to Common Stock  $19,975    16,331   $18,392    16,226   $16,580    16,110 
Diluted EPS  $1.22        $1.13        $1.03      

 

Fair Value of Financial Instruments

 

The following methods and assumptions were used by the Company in estimating its fair value disclosure for financial instruments for which it is practicable to estimate that value. The carrying amounts reflected in the consolidated balance sheets for cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, accounts payable and notes payable approximate their respective fair values due to the short-term maturities of these instruments. The fair value of the Company’s long-term debt relating to Bonds and SRF Notes is based on quoted market prices for similar issues. Under the fair value hierarchy, the fair value of cash and cash equivalents is classified as a Level 1 measurement and the fair value of notes payable and the Bonds and SRF Bonds in the table below are classified as Level 2 measurements. The carrying amount and fair value of the Company’s bonds were as follows:

 

   (Thousands of Dollars)
At December 31,
   2015  2014
   Carrying  Fair  Carrying  Fair
   Amount  Value  Amount  Value
Bonds  $85,143   $87,972   $88,628   $90,115 
State Revolving Notes  $457   $459   $540   $542 

 

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For other long-term debt for which there was no quoted market price and there is not an active trading market, it was not practicable to estimate their fair value (for details, including carrying value, interest rate and due date on these series of long-term debt, please refer to those series noted as “Amortizing Secured Note” and “State Revolving Trust Note” on the Consolidated Statements of Capital Stock and Long-Term Debt). The carrying amount of these instruments was $54.7 million and $50.8 million at December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. Customer advances for construction have a carrying amount of $20.5 million and $22.0 million at December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. Their relative fair values cannot be accurately estimated since future refund payments depend on several variables, including new customer connections, customer consumption levels and future rate increases.

 

Note 7 - Employee Benefit Plans

 

Pension Benefits

The Company’s Pension Plan covers all active employees hired prior to April 1, 2007. Employees hired after March 31, 2007 are not eligible to participate in this plan, but can participate in a defined contribution profit sharing plan that provides an annual contribution at the discretion of the Company, based upon a percentage of the participants’ annual paid compensation. In order to be eligible for contribution, the eligible employee must be employed by the Company on December 31st of the year to which the contribution relates. In addition, the Company maintains an unfunded supplemental plan for its executive officers. The Accumulated Benefit Obligation for the Company’s Pension Plan at December 31, 2015 and 2014 was $62.3 million and $61.9 million, respectively.

 

Other Benefits

The Company’s Other Benefits Plan covers substantially all of its current retired employees. Employees hired after March 31, 2007 are not eligible to participate in this plan. Coverage includes healthcare and life insurance. Accrued retirement benefit costs are recorded each year.

 

Regulatory Treatment of Over/Underfunded Retirement Obligations

 

Because the Company is subject to regulation in the states in which it operates, it is required to maintain its accounts in accordance with the regulatory authority’s rules and guidelines, which may differ from other authoritative accounting pronouncements. In those instances, the Company follows the guidance of ASC 980, Regulated Operations. Based on prior regulatory practice, and in accordance with the guidance in ASC 980, Regulated Operations, the Company records underfunded Pension Plan and Other Benefits Plan obligation costs, which otherwise would be recognized in Other Comprehensive Income under ASC 715, Compensation – Retirement Benefits, as a Regulatory Asset, and expects to recover those costs in rates charged to customers.

 

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The Company uses a December 31 measurement date for all of its employee benefit plans. The tables below sets forth information relating to the Company’s Pension Plan and Other Benefits Plan for 2015 and 2014.

 

   (Thousands of Dollars)
   Pension Plan  Other Benefits Plan
   December 31,
   2015  2014  2015  2014
Change in Projected Benefit Obligation:                    
Beginning Balance  $75,043   $56,041   $49,578   $37,212 
Service Cost   2,558    1,894    1,373    1,032 
Interest Cost   2,894    2,682    1,921    1,792 
Actuarial (Gain) Loss   (5,915)   16,429    (6,062)   10,092 
Benefits Paid   (2,038)   (2,003)   (561)   (550)
Ending Balance  $72,542   $75,043   $46,249   $49,578 

 

   (Thousands of Dollars)
   Pension Plan  Other Benefits Plan
   December 31,
   2015  2014  2015  2014
Change in Fair Value of Plan Assets:                    
Beginning Balance  $51,623   $46,443   $27,535   $25,145 
Actual Return on Plan Assets   11    3,603    350    1,243 
Employer Contributions   3,335    3,580    1,694    1,697 
Benefits Paid   (2,038)   (2,003)   (561)   (550)
Ending Balance  $52,931   $51,623   $29,018   $27,535 
                     
Funded Status  $(19,611)  $(23,420)  $(17,231)  $(22,043)

 

   (Thousands of Dollars)
   Pension Plan  Other Benefits Plan
   December 31,
   2015  2014  2015  2014
Amounts Recognized in the Consolidated Balance Sheets consist of :                    
Current Liability   327    328         
Noncurrent Liability   19,284    23,092    17,231    22,043 
Net Liability Recognized  $19,611   $23,420   $17,231   $22,043 

 

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   (Thousands of Dollars)
   Pension Plan  Other Benefits Plan
   Years Ended December 31,
   2015  2014  2013  2015  2014  2013
Components of Net Periodic Benefit Cost                              
Service Cost  $2,558   $1,894   $2,300   $1,373   $1,032   $1,338 
Interest Cost   2,894    2,682    2,468    1,921    1,792    1,594 
Expected Return on Plan Assets   (3,919)   (3,534)   (2,894)   (2,107)   (1,937)   (1,622)
Amortization of Net Actuarial Loss   1,645    416    1,632    2,261    1,413    2,066 
Amortization of Prior Service Cost/(Credit)       2    10    (1,728)   (1,728)   (1,728)
Net Periodic Benefit Cost  $3,178   $1,460   $3,516   $1,720   $572   $1,648 

 

Amounts that are expected to be amortized from Regulatory Assets into Net Periodic Benefit Cost in 2016 are as follows:

   (Thousands of Dollars)
  

 

Pension
Plan

  Other
Benefits
Plan
Actuarial Loss  $1,426   $1,773 
Prior Service Credit       (1,728)

 

The discount rate and compensation increase rate for determining our postretirement benefit plans’ benefit obligations and costs as of December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively, are as follows:

 

   Pension Plan   Other Benefits Plan 
   2015   2014    2013   2015   2014    2013 
Weighted Average Assumptions:                              
   Expected Return on Plan Assets   7.50%   7.50%   7.50%   7.50%   7.50%   7.50%
   Discount Rate for:                              
     Benefit Obligation   4.26%   3.91%   4.87%   4.26%   3.91%   4.87%
     Benefit Cost   3.91%   4.87%   3.99%   3.91%   4.87%   3.99%
   Compensation Increase for:                              
     Benefit Obligation   3.00%   3.00%   3.00%   3.00%   3.00%   3.00%
     Benefit Cost   3.00%   3.00%   3.00%   3.00%   3.00%   3.00%

 

The compensation increase assumption for the Other Benefits Plan is attributable to life insurance provided to qualifying employees upon their retirement. The insurance coverage will be determined based on the employee’s base compensation as of their retirement date.

 

The Company adopted the use of the most recent Society of Actuaries’ mortality table (RP 2014) (Mortality Improvement Scale MP2015 for the 2015 valuation). RP 2014 was first used in the determination of our postretirement benefit obligations as of December 31, 2014 and costs for 2015. Use of the RP 2014 mortality table, which extends the assumed life expectancies of our postretirement benefit plan participants, resulted in significant increases to our postretirement benefit obligations and costs.

 

For the 2015 valuation, costs and obligations for our Other Benefits Plan assumed a 9.0% annual rate of increase in the per capita cost of covered healthcare benefits in 2016 with the annual rate of increase declining 1.0% per year for 2017-2019 and 0.5% per year for 2020-2021, resulting in an annual rate of increase in the per capita cost of covered healthcare benefits of 5% by year 2021.

 

55 

A one-percentage point change in assumed healthcare cost trend rates would have the following effects on the Other Benefits Plan:

 

   (Thousands of Dollars)
   1 Percentage Point
   Increase  Decrease
Effect on Current Year’s Service and Interest Cost  $781   $(589)
Effect on Projected Benefit Obligation  $8,267   $(6,482)

 

The following benefit payments, which reflect expected future service, are expected to be paid:

 

 

   (Thousands of Dollars)
Year  Pension Plan  Other Benefits Plan
2016  $2,123   $876 
2017   2,342    1,119 
2018   2,393    1,315 
2019   2,411    1,512 
2020   2,795    1,645 
2021-2025   19,641    10,473 
  Totals  $31,705   $16,940 

 

Benefit Plans Assets

 

The allocation of plan assets at December 31, 2015 and 2014 by asset category is as follows:

 

   Pension Plan   Other Benefits Plan 
Asset Category  2015   2014   Target    2015   2014   Target  
Equity Securities   59.1%   60.7%   55%   50.0%   49.5%   43%
Debt Securities   37.8%   35.8%   38%   47.4%   47.5%   50%
Cash   1.3%   1.2%   2%   2.4%   2.8%   2%
Real Estate/Commodities   1.8%   2.3%   5%   0.2%   0.2%   5%
Total   100.0%   100.0%        100.0%   100.0%     

 

Two outside investment firms each manage a portion of the Pension Plan asset portfolio. One of those investment firms also manages the Other Benefits Plan asset portfolio. Quarterly meetings are held between the Company’s Pension Committee of the Board of Directors and the investment managers to review their performance and asset allocation. If the actual asset allocation is outside the targeted range, the Pension Committee reviews current market conditions and advice provided by the investment managers to determine the appropriateness of rebalancing the portfolio.

 

The objective of the Company is to maximize the long-term return on retirement plan assets, relative to a reasonable level of risk, maintain a diversified investment portfolio and maintain compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. The expected long-term rate of return is based on the various asset categories in which plan assets are invested and the current expectations and historical performance for these categories.

 

Equity securities include Middlesex common stock in the amounts of $1.0 million (2.0% of total Pension Plan assets) and $0.9 million (1.8 % of total Pension Plan assets) as of December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively.

 

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Fair Value Measurements

 

Accounting guidance provides a fair value hierarchy that prioritizes the inputs to valuation techniques used to measure fair value. The hierarchy gives the highest priority to unadjusted quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities (Level 1 measurements) and the lowest priority to unobservable inputs (Level 3 measurements). The three levels of the fair value hierarchy are described as follows:

 

·Level 1 – Inputs to the valuation methodology are unadjusted quoted market prices for identical assets or liabilities in accessible active markets.
·Level 2 – Inputs to the valuation methodology that are observable, either directly or indirectly, such as quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities; quoted prices in markets that are not active; or other inputs that are observable or can be corroborated by observable market data for substantially the full term of the assets or liabilities. If the asset or liability has a specified contractual term, the Level 2 input must be observable for substantially the full term of the asset or liability.
·Level 3 – Inputs to the valuation methodology are unobservable and significant to the fair value measurement.

 

Certain investments in cash and cash equivalents, equity securities, and commodities are valued based on quoted market prices in active markets and are classified as Level 1 investments. Certain investments in cash and cash equivalents, equity securities and fixed income securities are valued using prices received from pricing vendors that utilize observable inputs and are therefore classified as Level 2 investments.

 

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The following table presents Middlesex’s Pension Plan assets measured and recorded at fair value within the fair value hierarchy as of December 31, 2015 (amounts in thousands):

 

   Level 1  Level 2  Level 3  Total
Mutual Funds:                    
Small Cap Core  $251   $   $    251 
Small Cap Growth   217            217 
Small Cap Value   1,107            1,107 
Mid Cap Core   998            998 
Mid Cap Value   606            606 
Large Cap Blend   955            955 
Large Cap Core   15,432            15,432 
Foreign Large Core   284            284 
Foreign Large Blend   3,775            3,775 
Intermediate Term Bond   8,707            8,707 
World Bond   11,291            11,291 
Money Market Funds:                    
Cash and Cash Equivalents   652            652 
Common Equity Securities:                    
Non-Financial Services   202            202 
Financial Services   1,704            1,704 
Utilities   1,754            1,754 
Consumer Growth   1,191            1,191 
Consumer Staples   553            553 
Consumer Cyclicals   946            946 
Industrial Resources   284            284 
Capital Equipment   527            527 
Technology   1,118            1,118 
Energy   377            377 
Total Investments  $52,931   $   $   $52,931 

 

58 

 

The following table presents Middlesex’s Pension Plan assets measured and recorded at fair value within the fair value hierarchy as of December 31, 2014 (amounts in thousands):

 

   Level 1  Level 2  Level 3  Total
Mutual Funds:                    
Small Cap Core  $261   $   $    261 
Small Cap Value   876            876 
Mid Cap Core   1,013            1,013 
Mid Cap Value   627            627 
Large Cap Blend   1,187            1,187 
Large Cap Core   15,321            15,321 
Foreign Large Core   989            989 
Foreign Large Growth   449            449 
Foreign Large Blend   2,566            2,566 
Diversified Emerging Markets   737            737 
Intermediate Term Bond   9,824            9,824 
World Bond   8,668            8,668 
Money Market Funds:                    
Cash and Cash Equivalents   127    386        513 
Common Equity Securities:                    
Non-Financial Services   280            280 
Financial Services   1,656            1,656 
Utilities   1,504            1,504 
Consumer Growth   1,123            1,123 
Consumer Staples   459            459 
Consumer Cyclicals   922            922 
Industrial Resources   155            155 
Capital Equipment   453            453 
Technology   1,328            1,328 
Energy   712            712 
Total Investments  $51,237   $386   $   $51,623 

 

59 

 

The following table presents Middlesex’s Other Benefits Plan assets measured and recorded at fair value within the fair value hierarchy as of December 31, 2015 (amounts in thousands):

 

   Level 1  Level 2  Level 3  Total
Mutual Funds:                    
Small Cap Core   594   $   $   $594 
Small Cap Growth   40            40 
Small Cap Value   101              101 
Mid Cap Core   295            295 
Mid Cap Growth   135            135 
Mid Cap Value   762            762 
Large Cap Core   10,912            10,912 
Foreign Small Mid Growth   116            116 
Foreign Large Blend   413              413 
Foreign Large Core   666            666 
Foreign Large Growth   138            138 
Diversified Emerging Markets   339            339 
Real Estate Index   61            61 
Money Market Funds:                    
Cash and Cash Equivalents   688             688 
Preferred Equity Securities   224            224 
Agency/US/State/Municipal Debt        13,534        13,534 
Total Investments  $15,484   $13,534   $   $29,018 

 

The following table presents Middlesex’s Other Benefits Plan assets measured and recorded at fair value within the fair value hierarchy as of December 31, 2014 (amounts in thousands):

 

   Level 1  Level 2  Level 3  Total
Mutual Funds:                    
Small Cap Core  $491   $   $   $491 
Small Cap Growth   82            82 
Mid Cap Core   292            292 
Mid Cap Growth   121            121 
Mid Cap Value   768            768 
Large Cap Core   10,516            10,516 
Foreign Small Mid Growth   119            119 
Foreign Large Core   735            735 
Foreign Large Value   113            113 
Diversified Emerging Markets   371            371 
Real Estate Index   62            62 
Money Market Funds:                    
Cash and Cash Equivalents   450    332        782 
Preferred Equity Securities   221            221 
Agency/US/State/Municipal Debt       12,862        12,862 
Total Investments  $14,341   $13,194   $   $27,535 

 

60 

Benefit Plans Contributions

For the Pension Plan, Middlesex made total cash contributions of $3.3 million in 2015 and expects to make approximately $3.3 million of cash contributions in 2016.

 

For the Other Benefits Plan, Middlesex made total cash contributions of $1.7 million in 2015 and expects to make approximately $1.5 million of cash contributions in 2016.

 

401(k) Plan

The Company has a 401(k) defined contribution plan, which covers substantially all employees with more than 1,000 hours of service. Under the terms of the Plan, the Company matches 100% of a participant’s contributions, which do not exceed 1% of a participant’s compensation, plus 50% of a participant’s contributions exceeding 1%, but not more than 6%. The Company’s matching contributions were $0.6 million, $0.6 million and $0.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively.

 

For those employees hired after March 31, 2007, and still actively employed on December 31, 2015, the Company approved, and will fund, a discretionary contribution of $0.4 million which was based on 5.0% of eligible 2015 compensation. For both of the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013, the Company made discretionary contributions of $0.3 million for those qualifying employees.

 

Stock-Based Compensation

The Company has a stock compensation plan for certain management employees (the 2008 Restricted Stock Plan). The Company maintains an escrow account for 0.1 million shares of the Company's common stock for the 2008 Restricted Stock Plan. Such stock is subject to an agreement requiring forfeiture by the employee in the event of termination of employment within five years of the award other than as a result of retirement, death, disability or change in control. The maximum number of shares authorized for grant under the 2008 Restricted Stock Plan is 0.3 million shares, for which 0.1 million remain as unissued shares.

 

The Company recognizes compensation expense at fair value for the restricted stock awards in accordance with ASC 718, Compensation – Stock Compensation. Compensation expense is determined by the market value of the stock on the date of the award and is being amortized over a five-year period.

 

The following table presents information on the 2008 Restricted Stock Plan:

 

  

 

Shares

(thousands)

 

Unearned
Compensation

(thousands)

  Weighted
Average
Grant Price
Balance, January 1, 2013   114   $1,039      
Granted   28    589   $21.20 
Vested   (24)         
Forfeited   (1)   (12)     
Amortization of Compensation Expense       (400)     
Balance, December 31, 2013   117   $1,216      
Granted   33    711   $21.46 
Vested   (22)         
Forfeited   (1)   (10)     
Amortization of Compensation Expense       (434)     
Balance, December 31, 2014   127   $1,483      
Granted   33    741   $22.65 
Vested   (12)         
Forfeited             
Amortization of Compensation Expense       (528)     
Balance, December 31, 2015   148   $1,696      

 

61 

The fair value of vested restricted shares was $0.3 million, $0.5 million and $0.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively.

 

Note 8 – Business Segment Data

 

The Company has identified two reportable segments. One is the regulated business of collecting, treating and distributing water on a retail and wholesale basis to residential, commercial, industrial and fire protection customers in parts of New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. This segment also includes regulated wastewater systems in New Jersey and Delaware. The Company is subject to regulations as to its rates, services and other matters by the states of New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania with respect to utility service within these states. The other segment is primarily comprised of non-regulated contract services for the operation and maintenance of municipal and private water and wastewater systems in New Jersey and Delaware.

 

Inter-segment transactions relating to operational costs are treated as pass-through expenses. Finance charges on inter-segment loan activities are based on interest rates that are below what would normally be charged by a third party lender.

62 

 

   (Thousands of Dollars)
   Years Ended December 31,
Operations by Segments:  2015  2014  2013
Revenues:               
   Regulated  $111,247   $103,556   $100,910 
   Non – Regulated   15,238    14,143    14,463 
Inter-segment Elimination   (460)   (560)   (527)
Consolidated Revenues  $126,025   $117,139   $114,846 
                
Operating Income:               
   Regulated  $33,603   $32,000   $28,744 
   Non – Regulated   2,237    2,392    2,226 
Consolidated Operating Income  $35,840   $34,392   $30,970 
                
Depreciation:               
   Regulated  $11,874   $11,262   $10,807 
   Non – Regulated   177    182    181 
 Consolidated Depreciation  $12,051   $11,444   $10,988 
                
Other Income (Expense), Net:               
   Regulated  $619   $157   $828 
   Non – Regulated   20    (75)   (14)
Inter-segment Elimination   (346)   (485)   (723)
Consolidated Other Income (Expense), Net  $293   $(403)  $91 
                
Interest Expense:               
   Regulated  $5,554   $5,607   $5,807 
   Non – Regulated   89    91    97 
Inter-segment Elimination   (89)   (91)   (97)
Consolidated Interest Charges  $5,554   $5,607   $5,807 
                
Income Taxes:               
   Regulated  $9,522   $8,907   $7,635 
   Non – Regulated   1,029    1,030    986 
Consolidated Income Taxes  $10,551   $9,937   $8,621 
                
Net Income:               
   Regulated  $18,889   $17,249   $15,504 
   Non – Regulated   1,139    1,196    1,129 
Consolidated Net Income  $20,028   $18,445   $16,633 
                
Capital Expenditures:               
   Regulated  $25,706   $22,498   $19,894 
   Non – Regulated   67    98    186 
Total Capital Expenditures  $  25, 773   $22,596   $20,080 

 

  

 

(Thousands of Dollars)

  

As of

December 31, 2015

 

As of

December 31, 2014

Assets:          
   Regulated  $584,660   $574,854 
   Non – Regulated   6,436    7,252 
   Inter-segment Elimination   (6,374)   (6,334)
Consolidated Assets  $584,722   $575,772 

63 

Note 9 - Quarterly Operating Results - Unaudited

 

Operating results for each quarter of 2015 and 2014 are as follows:

 

 

   (Thousands of Dollars, Except per Share Data)
2015  1st   2nd   3rd   4th  Total
                          
Operating Revenues  $28,780   $31,666   $34,654   $30,925   $126,025 
Operating Income   6,685    9,235    11,460    8,460    35,840 
Net Income   3,636    5,089    6,743    4,560    20,028 
Basic Earnings per Share  $0.22   $0.31   $0.41   $0.29   $1.23 
Diluted Earnings per Share  $0.22   $0.31   $0.41   $0.28   $1.22 

 

2014  1st   2nd   3rd   4th  Total
                          
Operating Revenues   $27,173   $29,190   $32,669   $28,107   $117,139 
Operating Income   5,967    8,747    11,620    8,058    34,392 
Net Income   3,169    4,728    6,758    3,790    18,445 
Basic Earnings per Share  $0.20   $0.29   $0.42   $0.23   $1.14 
Diluted Earnings per Share  $0.20   $0.29   $0.42   $0.22   $1.13 

 

The information above, in the opinion of the Company, includes all adjustments consisting only of normal recurring accruals necessary for a fair presentation of such amounts. The business of the Company is subject to seasonal fluctuation with the peak period usually occurring during the summer months. The quarterly earnings per share amounts above may differ from previous filings due to the effects of rounding.

 

64 

ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE.

 

None.

 

ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

(1) Disclosure controls and procedures are controls and other procedures that are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed in Company reports filed or submitted under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported, within the time periods specified in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s r