Aqua America Inc.
) reported first-quarter 2014 earnings per share of 24 cents,
edging past the Zacks Consensus Estimate as well as the year-ago
earnings of 23 cents by a penny.
The marginal beat can be attributed to increased investments in
infrastructure modernization and benefits from the execution of
repair tax accounting at the Pennsylvania unit. However, the
positives were partially offset by the rising operation and
The company's operating revenues for the quarter were $183
million, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.9%. Quarterly
revenues, however, surged 2.3% year over year.
In the quarter under review, Aqua America's total costs and
expenses increased 3.8% to approximately $115.9 million on account
of escalating operations and maintenance expenses as well as
The company had to combat the harsh winter weather as frozen
pipes, main breaks and an unusual amount of snow removal aggravated
The revenue upturn was offset by an increase in total costs and
expenses. In the reported quarter, operating margin declined to
36.5% from 37.5% in the year-ago quarter.
Aqua America's interest expenses totaled $19.3 million, flat
from the comparable year-ago period.
As of Mar 31, 2014, Aqua America's current assets were $213.6
million versus $203.0 million as of Dec 31, 2013.
Long-term debt (excluding current portion) as of Mar 31, 2014
was $1,498.0 million compared with $1,468.6 million at the end of
Other Company Releases
American Water Works Company, Inc.
) reported first-quarter 2014 adjusted earnings of 40 cents per
share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 14.3%.
Connecticut Water Service Inc.
) posted first-quarter 2014 earnings of 27 cents per share, in line
with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
Middlesex Water Co.
) reported first-quarter 2014 earnings of 19 cents per share,
beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 18.8%.
Aqua America's nominal earnings beat in the first quarter came
on account of its proactive infrastructure upgrades. The company
spent around $60 million in modernization programs in the first
quarter. The company expects to invest $325 million in 2014 and $1
billion over next three years. These systematic capital
expenditures will enhance Aqua America's service
Meanwhile, the company continues with its acquisition drive and
has announced five asset purchases to-date in 2014. These multiple
assets buyout will broaden Aqua America's operational capability as
well as lead to customer additions.
Aqua America currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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