MDU Resources Group Inc. reported third-quarter earnings from continuing operations of $88.2 million, or 45 cents per common share, compared to earnings from continuing operations of $73.7 million, or 38 cents per common share, for the third quarter of 2015.
Including discontinued operations, primarily its exploration and production, and refining businesses, the company reported earnings of $82.8 million, or 42 cents per common share, for third quarter 2016, compared to a loss of $139.6 million, or 72 cents per share, for third quarter 2015.
For the nine months ended Sept. 30, MDU Resources reported earnings from continuing operations of $166.0 million, or 85 cents per common share, compared to $120.0 million, or 62 cents per share, for the first nine months of 2015. Including discontinued operations, the company had a loss of $1.8 million, or 1 cent per share, for the nine months ended Sept. 30, compared to a loss of $675.5 million, or $3.47 per share, in 2015.
The construction materials business reported record third-quarter earnings of $69.5 million, up from record third quarter 2015 earnings of $68.8 million. This business saw higher construction margins with increased construction activity in the Pacific and northwestern areas of the United States and lower selling, general and administrative expense. Backlog at construction materials is $580 million, which is up 9 percent from last year.
Third-quarter earnings at the construction services business were $7.2 million, up $2.5 million from third quarter 2015, with higher workloads and margins on inside electrical and outside work in the western area of the U.S. The construction services backlog of $518 million, which is up 13 percent from last year, includes projects from a broad variety of service areas and across geographic regions.
“We have streamlined our company and our two primary business lines, construction materials and services and regulated energy delivery, are providing solid results,” said David L. Goodin, president and CEO of MDU Resources. “Our construction businesses continue to experience strong momentum as the country turns more attention to needed infrastructure improvements. Our construction materials segment achieved record third quarter earnings for the second consecutive year, and our construction services business improved earnings by 53 percent.
“Our regulated energy delivery businesses are focused on growth, including pipeline expansion projects, utility system upgrades and expanding infrastructure,” Goodin said. “The Valley Expansion project in eastern North Dakota and far western Minnesota is proceeding, and construction continues on the 345-kV transmission line from Ellendale, N.D., to Big Stone City, S.D.”