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Customer growth, higher base rates lift New Jersey Resources' fiscal Q3 earnings

New Jersey Resources Corp. on Aug. 2 posted net financial earnings of $17.4 million, or 20 cents per share, for the fiscal third quarter, up from $11.0 million, or 13 cents per share, in the prior-year period.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized earnings estimate for the fiscal third quarter was 9 cents per share.

The increase was attributed to higher base rates and utility gross margin from new customer additions, the company said.

GAAP earnings were $19.0 million, or 22 cents per share, compared with a loss of $17.4 million, or a loss of 20 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Total operating revenues was $457.5 million, growing from $393.2 million a year earlier. Utility gross margin was $60.5 million, an increase from $55.4 million in the same quarter a year ago.

New Jersey Resources expects full-year net financial earnings of $1.65 per share to $1.75 per share. The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the year is $1.73.