U.S. Markets open in 9 hrs 13 mins

AWK Upgrades Pittsburg Facility

Zacks Equity Research

American Water Works Company Inc.’s (AWK) unit Pennsylvania American Water announced the completion of its Pittsburg System Upgrade project. The company invested $101 million for this venture. This upgrade project is partly financed by the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority's (:PEDFA) tax-exempt debt.

Per the program, American Water upgraded its Hays Mine Treatment Plant and Becks Run Pumping Station. These initiatives include replacement of gas chlorine with liquid chlorine, upgrading the Monongahela River intake structure and raw water pump station, setting up of 3,000 feet of new 42-inch water main, and completion of water storage and pump station structure and chemical feed facilities. In addition, the company refurbished the E.H. Aldrich Treatment Plant in Elrama, Washington County, and the Arlington Booster Station in the City of Pittsburgh.

The infrastructure upgrade program will enable American Water to provide uninterrupted water supply to its customers and strengthen system competence. These factors will subsequently improve reliability, consumer confidence, public safety while maintaining government water quality regulations.

American Water invested $213.1 million during first-quarter 2013 under its capital spending program. In full-year 2013, the company intends to invest $950 million in various projects to ensure the safety and reliability of its water operations.

It is evident from American Water’s capital spending program that the company currently plans to improve its water distribution assets and installation of modern systems. In recent times, the company invested $3.7 million to upgrade the Scranton Water System for providing uninterrupted service to its customers and increase water flow during firefighting.

American Water’s first-quarter net cash from operating activities was $149.6 million and cash balance as of Mar 31, 2013 was $21.2 million. We believe that the company’s stable financial position along with strategic assets acquisitions encourage it to follow steady infrastructure development activities.

Voorhees, N.J.-based American Water was founded in 1886. The company serves around 14 million people with water and water related services. With 6,700 employees, the company’s market capitalization is $7.58 billion.

American Water currently has a Zacks Rank # 3 (Hold). Other water utilities, which are doing well include American States Water Company (AWR), Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. (CWCO) and Middlesex Water Co. (MSEX). All of them presently carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Read the Full Research Report on MSEX

Read the Full Research Report on AWK

Read the Full Research Report on CWCO

Read the Full Research Report on AWR

Zacks Investment Research

More From Zacks.com