MDU Resources Group Inc. reported second quarter earnings from continuing operations of $44.1 million, or 22 cents per share, compared to second quarter 2017 earnings from continuing operations of $43.8 million, or 22 cents per share. Including discontinued operations, MDU Resources reported second quarter earnings of $43.8 million, or 22 cents per share, compared to $40.6 million, or 21 cents per share, in 2017.
For the six months ended June 30, MDU Resources had earnings from continuing operations of $86.0 million, or 44 cents per share, compared to $79.3 million, or 40 cents per share, in 2017. Including discontinued operations, the company had earnings of $86.2 million, or 44 cents per share, compared to $77.8 million, or 40 cents per share, in 2017.
Earnings at its construction materials business were $24.3 million in the second quarter, up from $21.2 million in the second quarter of 2017. The earnings increase reflects the benefits of federal tax reform.
The company earlier this month announced that it acquired Molalla Redi-Mix and Rock Products Inc., located south of Portland, Ore., which is expected to be accretive to 2018 earnings. This acquisition follows two others this year, Teevin & Fischer Quarry LLC in northern Oregon acquired in April and Tri-City Paving Inc. in Little Falls, Minn., acquired in June.
The construction materials backlog of work at June 30 was $731 million, compared to $766 million in 2017.
“We are pleased with our ongoing growth and solid operational execution,” said David L. Goodin, president and CEO of MDU Resources. “Our construction services business is experiencing an exceptional year, with to-date earnings nearly 50 percent higher than last year. We had a record combined backlog of $1.62 billion of work at our construction services and construction materials businesses at the end of the second quarter. We also recently announced our third construction materials acquisition of the year, and we continue to evaluate additional acquisition opportunities at both construction businesses.
“Our utility and pipeline businesses continue to successfully execute on several growth opportunities,” Goodin said. “Our two significant pipeline expansion projects underway this year are progressing on schedule and on budget, and we look forward to their completion later this year. With Bakken natural gas production at record levels, there is high demand for additional transportation capacity in the region. Construction also is progressing as expected on our wind farm expansion in southwestern North Dakota, with completion anticipated this fall, and on the 345-kilovolt transmission line partnership project from Ellendale, N.D., to Big Stone City, S.D. All our businesses are focused on growth, with significant opportunities ahead.”