Aqua America Inc. WTR reported first-quarter 2019 earnings per share of 28 cents, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 6.7%.
The bottom line also fell 3.5% year over year, primarily due to higher expenditure incurred during the reported quarter.
Quarterly revenues amounted to $201.11 million, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $204 million by 1.4%. However, the reported revenues were up 3.5% year over year. The upside can be attributed to rate activity, organic growth and contribution from its acquired assets.
Aqua America, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Aqua America, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Aqua America, Inc. Quote
Highlights of the Release
The company continues to expand its operation through acquisitions. Aqua America added nearly 572 customer connections in first-quarter 2019 through the completion of three water and wastewater service providers.
First-quarter total cost and expenses increased nearly 7% year over year to $133.7 million.
Interest expenses also increased 18.7% to $27.9 million from $23.5 million in the year-ago quarter.
Current assets were $143.8 million as of Mar 31, 2019 compared with $147.1 million on Dec 31, 2018.
Long-term debt was $2,462.9 million as of Mar 31, 2019, higher than $2,398.5 million on Dec 31, 2018.
During the quarter, the company invested $133.8 million to strengthen its water and wastewater infrastructure.
Aqua America reiterated its 2019 adjusted net earnings guidance within $1.45-$1.50 per share.
It expects customer base to expand 2-3% in 2019. The company plans to invest $550 million during the year. This is part of its investment plan of nearly $1.4 billion through 2021.
Upcoming Utility Releases
American States Water Company AWR is expected to release first-quarter earnings on May 6. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at 36 cents.
Connecticut Water Service, Inc. CTWS is expected to release first-quarter earnings on May 9. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter to be reported is pegged at 20 cents.
Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. CWCO is expected to release first-quarter earnings on May 13. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the to-be-reported quarter is pegged at 19 cents.
Currently, Aqua America 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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