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Water utility Connecticut Water Service, Inc. (CTWS - Snapshot Report) reported first quarter earnings per share of 24 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.

Earnings were 9% higher than the year-ago figure of 22 cents. The improvement in earnings was attributable to consistent performance from its Water Activities, Services and Rentals segments.

Highlights of the Release

First quarter total revenue of $21.5 million was up 6.4% year over year from $20.2 million in the year-ago quarter and 7.5% from the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $20 million.  

The year-over-year outperformance was backed by the strength in its core operations and contributions from Biddeford & Saco Water Company (BSWC), which was acquired in Dec 2012.

Total operating expenses in the reported quarter increased 9.2% to $16.37 million, primarily due to the inclusion of operating expenses of BSWC.

Operating income in the reported quarter decreased 4.3% to $3.56 million mainly due to higher operating expenses.

Interest expenses decreased 36% in the first quarter to $1.3 million from $2.1 million in the year-ago quarter mainly due to the redemption of debt. The refinancing of existing debts on favorable terms also lowered interest expense.

Other Company Releases

Aqua America, Inc. (WTR - Snapshot Report) announced first-quarter 2013 operating earnings of 29 cents per share, 7.4% above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 27 cents.

California Water Service Group (CWT - Snapshot Report) reported a loss of 3 cents in first-quarter 2013, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 1 cent.

American Water Works Company Inc. (AWK - Snapshot Report) reported first quarter earnings per share of 32 cents, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 34 cents by 5.9%.

Zacks Rank

Connecticut Water Service Inc. currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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