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Warmer weather eats into Chesapeake Utilities' Q1 net income

onMay 4 reported first-quarter 2016 net income of $20.4 million, or $1.33 pershare, compared with $21.1 million, or $1.44 per share, a year ago.

The companyattributed the year-over-year decrease to the impact of warmer weather onenergy usage, which reduced net income by $4.0 million and EPS by 27 centsduring the most recent quarter. The negative impact was significantly offset byincreased gross margin from the performance of and naturalgas services growth.

"Despitesignificantly warmer weather, net income for the first quarter was only 3.5percent lower than the same quarter in 2015, thanks to the continued growth anddiversity of our businesses," Chesapeake Utilities President and CEOMichael McMasters said in the company's earnings release.

The companyrecorded operating revenues for the quarter of $146.3 million, a decrease fromthe $170.1 million generated in comparable period of 2015. Operating expensesdropped $22.7 million year over year to $109.9 million during the most recentquarter.

First-quartergross margin was largely flat year over year at $77.4 million, while operatingincome was down to $36.4 million from $37.5 million a year ago.

The company'sregulated energy segment contributed $24.3 million in first-quarter 2016operating income, an increase from $22.2 million in the same period of 2015.The unregulated energy segment posted a $3.3 million year-over-year drop inoperating income to $11.9 million.