MDU Resources tops Forbes Best Managed Utilities Companies list

BISMARCK, N.D., Jan. 16, 2004 — MDU Resources Group, Inc. has been singled out by Forbes magazine as the Best Managed Company in the utilities industry in America. The list appears in the January 12, 2004, issue of Forbes, where MDU Resources is profiled in an article along with the front runners in 25 other industries.

This is the fourth consecutive year that MDU Resources has been included on the Forbes Platinum list of the best big companies in America. It’s the first year the magazine decided to highlight the top best managed company in each industry.

“We’re pleased to have this national recognition of our success,” said Martin A. White, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of MDU Resources. “We were cited in the utilities industry, but our company today has grown to be much more than a utility. We’ve used our employee expertise to expand in a strategic, disciplined fashion into related businesses that are an integral part of our country’s infrastructure. While other companies have struggled in the past few years, we’ve thrived because the goods and services we provide are the foundation of America. In 2003, we were extremely pleased with the performance of our stock and that we were able to provide our stockholders with total shareholder return of 43 percent.”

According to Forbes, 1,000 publicly traded firms with $1 billion or more in revenue and a stock price of at least $5 were identified. For each of 26 core industries, the companies were ranked against their peers for five-year total returns, long- and short-term sales and earnings growth and other yardsticks such as long-term earnings forecasts from Thomson Financial First Call. Additional factors considered were market leadership, innovation and efficiency. Forbes also had Audit Integrity, a financial analytics service firm, help eliminate problematic companies through the use of accounting and governance scores.

MDU Resources was also ranked in the energy industry in the Fortune 1000. According to the list published in the April 14, 2003, issue of Fortune Magazine, MDU Resources ranked as number one in the energy industry in total return to investors for 1992-2002 with an annual return of 13 percent. The company also ranked as number one in the industry for earnings per share annual growth with a 10 percent annual growth rate for the years 1992-2002.

In August 2003, MDU Resources increased its dividend 6.3 percent, the 13th consecutive year of increased dividends. The company split its stock on a three-for-two basis effective Oct. 29, 2003.

MDU Resources Group, Inc., a member of the S&P MidCap 400 Index, provides energy, value-added natural resource products and related services that are essential to our country’s energy, transportation and communication infrastructure. MDU Resources includes natural gas and oil production, construction materials and mining, electric and natural gas utilities, a natural gas pipeline, domestic and international independent power production, utility services and energy services. For more information about MDU Resources, see the company’s Web site at www.mdu.com or contact the investor relations department at investor@mduresources.com.


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