Chesapeake Utilities reports higher earnings in third quarter

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(The video above takes a look at ChesapeakeUtilities’ combined heat and power plant in northern Florida)

Chesapeake Utilities Corp., Dover, reported higher earnings in the third quarter and slightly lower net income for the first nine months of the year.

The company’s net income for the quarter ended September30 was $6.8 million, compared to$4.4 millionfor the same quarter of 2016.

The increase in net income reflected margin growth across business units for both the regulated energy and unregulated energy segments, as well as lower operating and maintenance expenses for the quarter.

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For the nine monthsof 2017, the company reported net income of$32 million, a decrease of$789,000 when compared to the same period in 2016.

Higher margins from its varied businesses offset the increase in higher expenses and the impact of warmer weather in both its Florida and Delmarva markets.

“Our solid results for the third quarter reflect the diverse sources of new gross margin throughout our company,” statedMichael P. McMasters, CEO. “Recently completed growth projects are adding value for our stockholders. In the near term, we will commence construction of Eastern Shore’s largest ever expansion project, expected to be completed in early 2018, as well other projects that will cultivate future growth. Investments in system expansion, acquisitions, new service offerings and unique projects like Eight Flags, enhance the continued growth in customers and deliveries in our natural gas distribution and transmission businesses.”

Eastern Shore is Chesapake’s natural gas transmission company, while Eight Flags produces heat and electricity for an industrial site in northern Florida. Low natural gas prices have led to an expansion of Chesapeake’s natural gas utility on the Easern Shore.

Chesapeake has annual revenue of nearly $500 million a year. Earnings have become less vulnerable to warmer weather as the company broadened its business mix.

Since 2013, the price of Chesapeake’s stock has risen from less than $30 a share to $80, with the company’s stock market value rising to $1.3 billion.

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