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Aqua America (WTR) Q3 Earnings Beat, Revenues Lag Estimates

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Aqua America Inc. (WTR - Free Report) reported third-quarter 2018 earnings per share (EPS) of 44 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 43 cents by 2.33%. The figure also improved 2.33% from 43 cents in the year-ago quarter.

The year-over-year improvement can be attributed to favourable rates, consumption and regulated growth.

Total Revenues

During the quarter, revenues amounted to $226.1 million, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $232 million by 2.5%. Nevertheless, revenues were up 5.2% year over year. The upside can be attributed to rate activity, driven by additional revenues from infrastructure surcharge mechanisms and growth in the regulated customer base.

Aqua America, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

 

Aqua America, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Aqua America, Inc. Quote

 

Highlights of the Release

Aqua America, to provide significant opportunities for infrastructure investment and growth, announced the acquisition of Peoples , a Pittsburgh-based natural gas utility with more than 740,000 customers.

The company completed the acquisition of Peotone, Illinois’ water and wastewater systems with nearly 3,000 customers. It signed two additional municipal acquisitions that added nearly 6,000 new customers for a total of nearly 33,000 new customers.

Operation and maintenance expenses increased 2.8% year over year to $68.6 million.

Interest expenses increased 13.4% to $25.4 million from $22.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Financial Highlights

Current assets were $149.3 million as of Sep 30, 2018, up from $131.2 million on Dec 31, 2017.

Long-term debt was $2,226.5 million as of Sep 30, 2018, higher than $2,007.7 million on Dec 31, 2017.

Guidance

Aqua America narrowed the top range of its 2018 earnings guidance. Currently, the guidance range is $1.40-$1.42 per share, up from the previous range of $1.37-$1.42.

It expects customer base to expand 2-3% in 2018. The company plans to invest $500 million in 2018. This is part of the investment plan of nearly $1.4 billion through 2020.

Other Water-Utility Releases

American Water Works Company (AWK - Free Report) posted third-quarter 2018 earnings per share of $1.20, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.16 by 3.5%.

American States Water (AWR - Free Report) posted third-quarter 2018 earnings per share of $0.62, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.60 per share by 3.3%.

Middlesex Water (MSEX - Free Report) reported third-quarter 2018 earnings per share of $0.74, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.65 per share by 13.8%.

Zacks Rank

Currently, Aqua America carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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