Aqua America Inc.
) reported third-quarter 2013 earnings per share of 36 cents,
beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 35 cents by 2.9%. On a
year-over-year basis, earnings increased 24.1% on the back of
rate awards in some of the company's service territories,
cost-control initiatives and benefits from the execution of
repair tax at the Pennsylvania unit.
The company's operating revenues were $204.3 million, missing the
Zacks Consensus Estimate by 6.3%. Quarterly revenues also
decreased 4.8% year over year due to a decline in water
consumption resulting from higher-than-average rainfall in
numerous service areas and a negative impact associated with the
absence of a rate settlement in Pennsylvania.
In the quarter under review, Aqua America's total costs and
expenses were $117 million, up 2.6% year over year due to a rise
in operations and maintenance expenses as well as depreciation
expenses, and higher taxes (other than income taxes).
A decrease in revenues was more than offset by an increase in
total costs and expenses. In the reported quarter, operating
margin declined to 42.8% from 46.9% in the year-ago quarter.
Aqua America's interest expenses totaled $19.4 million, down 1.3%
year over year primarily due to a decline in long-term debt.
As of Sep 30, 2013, Aqua America's current assets were $211.6
million versus $260.9 million as of Dec 31, 2012.
Long-term debt as of Sep 30, 2013 was $1,630.6 million compared
with $1,669.4 million at the end of 2012.
In Sep 2013, the company increased the quarterly dividend rate by
8.6% to 15.2 cents per share. On an annualized basis, the
dividend rate will be 60.8 cents.
Other Company Releases
American Water Works Company, Inc.
) reported third-quarter 2013 earnings from continuing operations
of 84 cents per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a
American States Water Company
) reported third-quarter 2013 pro forma earnings of 53 cents per
share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 47 cents by 12.8%.
California Water Service Group
) announced third-quarter 2013 operating earnings of 61 cents per
share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9 cents.
Aqua America continues to invest substantially in organic as well
as inorganic growth projects. During the first nine months of
2013, the company spent $216.1 million, under its capital
investment program, to upgrade infrastructure distribution
networks and replace older pipes mainly in Pennsylvania. The
timely completion of these ventures will help the company to
supply clean water to its customers.
On the inorganic front, the company acquired nine water and
wastewater utility systems to date. These initiatives will enable
the company to add new customers, thereby improving the top line
To date, the company has received rate approvals and
infrastructure surcharges in New Jersey, Texas, Illinois, Ohio,
and Virginia, which will fetch additional annualized revenues of
$12.3 million. This kind of government support will encourage
Aqua America to invest more in the improvement of utility
infrastructure, which in turn will improve reliability.
Aqua America currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
AMER WATER WORK (AWK): Free Stock Analysis
AMER STATES WTR (AWR): Free Stock Analysis
CALIF WATER SVC (CWT): Free Stock Analysis
AQUA AMER INC (WTR): Free Stock Analysis
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