California Water Service Group (CWT - Free Report) generated fourth-quarter 2018 operating earnings of 32 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 28 cents by 14.3%. Further, the bottom line improved 3.2% from 31 cents in the year-ago quarter. The upside can be primarily attributed to a CPUC authorization to recover $3.3 million of 2016 and 2017 incremental drought program costs, rate increases as well as $1.8-million increase in unbilled revenue accrual.
In 2018, earnings came in at $1.36 per share compared with $1.52 in 2017.
Operating revenues amounted to $167.4 million, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $164 million by 2%. The top line improved 1.8% from $164.3 million in the prior-year quarter. Total revenues increased primarily on the back of rate increase of $6.2 million.
In 2018, the company delivered revenues of $698.2 million compared with $676.1 million in 2017.
In the quarter under review, California Water’s total operating expenses were $140.8 million, down 0.2% year over year.
Interest expenses were $9.7 million, up 4.5% year over year.
As of Dec 31, 2018, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $47.2 million compared with $94.8 million as of Dec 31, 2017.
As of Dec 31, 2018, the company’s long-term debts were down at $710 million compared with $515.8 million as of Dec 31, 2017.
Other Water Utility Releases
American Water Works Company (AWK - Free Report) posted fourth-quarter 2018 earnings per share (EPS) of 69 cents, which is in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
Aqua America Inc (WTR - Free Report) delivered fourth-quarter 2018 EPS of 31 cents, which lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.
American States Water Company (AWR - Free Report) generated fourth-quarter 2018 operating earnings of 37 cents per share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
California Water carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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