Pennichuck sees earnings dip

Pennichuck Corp. reported comprehensive income of $2 million, or 51 cents a diluted share, for its third quarter, slightly less than the $2.2 million figure reported during the same quarter of last year, even though net income and revenue increased slightly.Net income was $2.4 million, but the company estimated it lost $285,000 on its derivative investments. That net income was $100,000 more than last year’s third quarter.The Merrimack-based water utility’s revenues rose slightly, increasing to $11.9 million, about $200,000 more than last year.But that isn’t because the company sold more water. Indeed, Pennichuck sold by volume 15 percent less water, thanks to conservation and a wetter and cooler summer compared to the dry third quarter of 2010. But the utility was able to charge 11.9 percent more for the water, thanks to a state Public Utilities Commission ruling that allowed Pennichuck to pass on to customers some of the costs it had in dealing with the company’s dispute over Nashua’s attempt to take over the utility by eminent domain.That dispute ended with the negotiated sale of the entire company to the city — a deal expected to be completed after the end of the year. Last quarter the company spent another $99,000 on the merger.Year to date, the company’s comprehensive income stands at $3.6 million, or 85 cents a share — $600,000 more than the first nine months of 2009. — BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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