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AWR Beats 4Q Estimates

Zacks Equity Research

American States Water Company (AWR) reported fourth quarter 2012 earnings of 53 cents per share, outpacing the year-ago figure of 35 cents by 51.4%. The results were 16 cents or 43.2% higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Earnings during the quarter benefited from strong performance from its Contracted Services segment which grew a whopping 283.3%. Contribution from the Water segment also rose while soft results from the Electric segment marginally offset these positives.

In 2012, American States Water Company posted earnings of $2.82 per share, 26.4% higher than the 2011 level of $2.23. The overall strong performance of its reporting segments buoyed results.

Total Revenue

Fourth quarter revenues of $111.5 million were up 17.1% year over year from $95.2 million and also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $103.0 million by 8.7%.  

The year-over-year outperformance came on the back of the Contracted Services segment. The increase in construction activity at the Fort Bragg military base in North Carolina and Fort Bliss in Texas boosted the performance of this segment.

Full-year 2012 revenues came in at $466.9 million, surpassing the year-ago figure of $419.9 million by 11.1%.

Highlights of the Release

Total operating expenses in the reported quarter increased 13.4% to $90.4 million, mainly due to an increase in water purchased expenses. However, administrative and general expenses decreased 4.7% to $18.1 million.

Operating income in the reported quarter was $21.2 million, up 36.1% from the year-ago quarter.

Interest expenses increased 2.1% to $4.9 million from $4.8 million in the fourth quarter 2011.

Other Company Releases

American Water Works Company Inc. (AWK) reported fourth quarter earnings per share of 30 cents, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 35 cents by 14.3%.

Aqua America, Inc. (WTR) announced fourth-quarter 2012 operating earnings of 47 cents per share, 95.8% above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 24 cents.

California Water Service Group (CWT) announced fourth-quarter 2012 operating earnings of 12 cents per share, 33.3% above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 9 cents.

Our View

The construction projects at various military bases boosted the results of the company. The company is likely to enjoy the benefits in 2013 too. American States Water Company currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Based in San Dimas, California, American States Water Company was founded in 1929. The company caters to customers in the United States and distributes water, electricity and other allied services.  The market capital of this company is $1.06 billion.

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