American Water Works Company (AWK - Free Report) posted first-quarter 2018 earnings per share of 59 cents, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 55 cents by 7.3%. Earnings improved 13.5% from the year-ago quarter.
The improvement came on the back of growth in Regulated Businesses as well as The Market-Based Businesses.
Total revenues of $761 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $787 million by 3.3%. However, reported revenues improved 0.7% year over year.
Highlights of the Release
Total operating expenses in the quarter were $544 million, up 3.4% from the year-ago quarter. The increase was primarily led by higher operation & maintenance and higher depreciation & amortization expenses compared with the year-ago quarter.
Operating income was $217 million, down 5.7% year over year.
Regulated Businesses’ net income was $104 million, up 10.6% from $94 million in the year-ago quarter.
Market-Based Businesses’ net income was $12 million compared with $7 million in the year-ago quarter. The year-over-year increase can be attributed to growth in the Homeowner Services Group through customer addition and cost management and the federal income tax rate cut.
Cash and cash equivalents were $55 million as of Mar 31, 2018, in line with the Dec 31, 2017 level.
Long-term debt was $11,854 million as of Mar 31, 2018, lower than $11,883 million as of Dec 31, 2017.
The company made capital investments of $343 million in the first quarter, including $302 million to improve Regulated Businesses infrastructure to provide safe, clean and reliable service and more than $8 million for regulated acquisitions.
American Water Works reaffirmed the 2018 earnings per share guidance at the range of $3.22-$3.32.
The company announced a hike in dividend payment of 9.6% to 45.5 cents per share. The dividend is payable on Jun 1, 2018, to shareholders of record as of May 11.
American Water Works carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Upcoming Peer Releases
American States Water Company (AWR - Free Report) , is expected to report first-quarter 2018 results on May 7. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings is pegged at 34 cents.
Consolidated Water Company Ltd. (CWCO - Free Report) , is likely to report first-quarter 2018 results on May 9. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings stands at 18 cents.
Aqua America Inc. (WTR - Free Report) is expected to report first-quarter 2018 results on May 8 .The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings is pinned at 29 cents.
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