MDU Resources Group Inc. reported third quarter earnings from continuing operations of $107.4 million, or 55 cents per share, compared to third quarter 2017 earnings from continuing operations of $89.6 million, or 46 cents per share.
Including discontinued operations, MDU Resources reported third quarter earnings of $107.3 million, or 55 cents per share, compared to $87.4 million, or 45 cents per share, in 2017.
For the nine months ended Sept. 30, MDU Resources had earnings from continuing operations of $193.4 million, or 99 cents per share, compared to $168.8 million, or 86 cents per share, for the first nine months of 2017. Including discontinued operations, the company had earnings of $193.5 million, or 99 cents per share for the period, compared to $165.1 million, or 84 cents per share, in 2017.
“We are pleased to report another strong quarter for MDU Resources, in which our companies performed well and continued to successfully execute on our growth strategy,” said David L. Goodin, president and CEO of MDU Resources. “We ended the quarter with record combined revenues, earnings and backlog at our construction companies, a testament to our team’s ability to capture projects and perform. In keeping with our strategy of acquiring well-run companies, earlier this month we announced our fourth construction materials acquisition of the year with the purchase of Sweetman Construction Co., a leading provider of aggregates, asphalt and ready-mix in the Sioux Falls market of South Dakota.
“We also continue to see solid results from our regulated businesses,” Goodin said. “We completed the purchase of an expansion to our Thunder Spirit Wind farm in southwestern North Dakota. With this expansion, renewables will make up approximately 27 percent of our total generation mix. We also finished and brought into service in mid-September our Line Section 27 pipeline project near Watford City, N.D. With natural gas production continuing at record levels in the Bakken, demand remains high for additional transportation capacity. Today, the company received approval from FERC to bring our Valley Expansion project into commercial operation on Nov. 1, providing much-needed gas capacity to eastern North Dakota.”
The construction materials business earned a record $78.9 million in the third quarter, a 25 percent increase over the $63.2 million earned in third quarter 2017. The company continues to benefit from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, had higher sales volumes in most product lines and saw higher construction workloads in the northwestern states.
This business is beginning to see construction activity increase in energy-producing states where it operates. The company continues to evaluate additional acquisition opportunities in strategic markets. The construction materials backlog of work at Sept. 30 was $590 million, compared to $520 million in 2017.