MDU Resources Group Inc. announced that a strong second quarter at its utility and construction services businesses partially offset a slow quarter at its construction materials business caused by weather-related delays and increased competition. Second quarter earnings from continuing operations were $43.8 million, or 22 cents per share, compared to second quarter 2016 earnings from continuing operations of $46.1 million, or 24 cents per share.
Including discontinued operations, MDU Resources reported second quarter earnings of $40.6 million, or 21 cents per share, compared to a loss of $109.3 million, or 56 cents per share, in second quarter 2016.
“Our second quarter results emphasize the benefits of our two-platform business model. Colder temperatures across our natural gas utility service territories and higher workloads and margins at the construction services business helped offset some of the impacts that above-average precipitation had on several markets where our construction materials business operates,” said David L. Goodin, president and CEO of MDU Resources. “Our operations continue to perform well and we are optimistic about growth opportunities as we continue Building a Strong America. Construction services is off to a strong start with record year-to-date revenue of more than $635 million and significant earnings growth. Workload remains strong for our construction businesses, as evidenced by a combined backlog that’s approximately 4 percent higher than this time last year. Both construction services and construction materials increased backlog since the first quarter, reflecting an active bidding environment.”
Second quarter 2017 earnings at the construction materials business were $21.2 million, compared to record second quarter earnings of $33.7 million in 2016. Although operations were impacted by above-average precipitation in a majority of markets and increased competition in some markets, the business was able to generate its second-best quarterly results for the second quarter since 2007.
Due to the slow start to the construction season, revenue guidance has been lowered to a range of $1.8 billion to $1.9 billion. Construction materials backlog at the end of second quarter was $766 million, compared to $805 million for the same period in 2016 and up from $725 million in first quarter 2017.
Combined construction backlog of $1.4 billion at June 30 was up approximately 4 percent compared to the end of second quarter 2016.