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Aqua America (WTR) Beats on Q1 Earnings, Lags Revenues

Water utility Aqua America Inc. WTR reported first-quarter earnings per share of 29 cents, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny and the year-ago figure by 7.4%.

 

The increase was attributable to higher earnings at the Regulated business segment driven by infrastructure investment.

Total Revenues

First-quarter total revenues of $193 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $199 million by 3.0%. Total revenues were 1.2% higher year over year.

Highlights of the Release

Total operating expenses in the reported quarter increased 0.9% to $120.3 million, primarily due to a rise in operation and maintenance expenses.

Interest expenses increased 6.4% to $19.8 million from $18.7 million in the year-ago quarter.

Financial Highlights

Current assets were $122.7 million as of Mar 31, 2016, down from $128.4 million as of Dec 31, 2015.

Long-term debt was $1,744.1 million as of Mar 31, 2016, marginally higher than $1,720.5 million as of Dec 31, 2015.

Guidance

Aqua America expects 2016 earnings in the range of $1.30 to $1.35 per diluted share. The company expects the customer base to expand by 1.5% to 2%.

Ageing infrastructure is a pressing problem for most of the water utilities. For 2016, the company’s capital investment budget is $350 million. It expects to invest nearly $1.1 billion in the 2016 to 2018 time period.

Other Company Releases

American States Water Company AWR reported first-quarter 2016 pro forma earnings of 28 cents per share, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 34 cents by 17.6%.

California Water Service Group CWT reported a first-quarter 2016 loss per share of 2 cents. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was earnings of 3 cents.

SJW Corp.’s SJW first-quarter 2016 operating earnings per share of 16 cents lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 21 cents by 23.8%.

Zacks Rank

Aqua America currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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CALIF WATER SVC (CWT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SJW CORP (SJW): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AQUA AMER INC (WTR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AMER STATES WTR (AWR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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