Gas Natural (ticker: EGAS, exchange: American Stock Exchange (.A))
News Release -
Energy West, Incorporated Announces Earnings for the Transitional Year and Quarter Ended December 31, 2008 and an Increase to the Monthly Dividend to $0.045 per Share
Great Falls , Mont., March 31, 2009/PRNewswire - First Call/ - Energy West, Incorporated (NASDAQ: EWST), a natural gas utility and energy marketing company, today filed its Form 10-K/T with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the transitional year ended December 31, 2008. Net income for the quarter ended December 31, 2008 was $773,000, or $0.18 per diluted share, compared to net income of $7.9 million, or $1.83 per diluted share, for the same period in 2007. The 2008 results include expensing $360,000 (after tax) of costs related to the Company's acquisition activities, as a result of a new accounting standard, SFAS 141R. The 2007 results include an extraordinary gain of $6.8 million, or $1.58 per diluted share. The $6.8 million extraordinary gain resulted from the recognition of a deferred tax asset of $11.5 million from the purchase of assets in North Carolina and Maine.
In August 2008, the Company changed its fiscal year end from June 30 to December 31. The Form 10-K/T covers the transition report for the period of July 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008. The Company reported consolidated net income for the six months ended December 31, 2008 of $1.2 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, compared to net income of $7.9 million, or $1.85 per diluted share, for the same period in 2007. The 2007 results include the extraordinary gain of $6.8 million, or $1.58 per diluted share. Net income before the extraordinary gain for the six months ended December 31, 2007 was $1.1 million, or $0.26 per diluted share. Net income for the six months ended December 31, 2008 increased 3% compared to net income before the extraordinary gain for the six months ended December 31, 2007.
The Company's Board of Directors has approved increasing the monthly dividend to $0.045 per share from $0.04 per share, a 12.5% increase. The dividend will be payable on April 30, 2009 to shareholders of record as of April 15, 2009.
"In these tough economic times we are proud to announce a 12.5% dividend increase," said Richard M. Osborne, Chairman and CEO of Energy West. "The results of all segments of Energy West were improved from the same time period last year. We continue to do all the necessary work to make our gas utilities even more efficient and customer focused going forward."
About Energy West
Energy West, Incorporated distributes and sells natural gas to end-use residential, commercial, and industrial customers. It distributes approximately 26 billion cubic feet of natural gas to approximately 37,000 customers through regulated utilities operating in Montana, Wyoming, North Carolina and Maine. The company markets approximately 2.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas to commercial and industrial customers in Montana and Wyoming on an unregulated basis. The company also has a majority ownership interest in 160 natural gas producing wells and gas gathering assets. In addition, the company owns the Shoshone interstate and the Glacier gathering pipelines located in Montana and Wyoming. The company's Montana public utility was originally incorporated in 1909 and is headquartered in Great Falls, Montana.
Safe Harbor Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
The company is including the following cautionary statement in this release to make applicable and to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 for any forward-looking statements made by, or on behalf of, Energy West. Forward-looking statements are all statements other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, those that are identified by the use of the words "anticipates," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "predicts," "believes" and similar expressions. Such statements are inherently subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed. Factors that may affect forward-looking statements and the company's business generally include but are not limited to the company's continued ability to make dividend payments, the company's ability to implement its business plan, fluctuating energy commodity prices, the possibility that regulators may not permit the company to pass through all of its increased costs to its customers, changes in the utility regulatory environment, wholesale and retail competition, weather conditions, litigation risks, and various other matters, many of which are beyond the company's control, the risk factors and cautionary statements made in the company's public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other factors that the company is currently unable to identify or quantify, but may exist in the future. Energy West expressly undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Energy West's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
For additional information or clarification regarding Energy West, please contact: Kevin Degenstein, President and Chief Operating Officer.
The company's toll-free number is (800) 570-5688. The company's web site is www.ewst.com. The company's address is 1 First Avenue South, Great Falls, Montana 59401.