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California Water Service Group Announces Second Quarter 2022 Results

SAN JOSE, Calif., July 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- California Water Service Group (NYSE: CWT) ( “Group”) today announced net income attributable to Group of $19.5 million or $0.36 earnings per diluted common share for the second quarter of 2022, compared to net income attributable to Group of $38.2 million or $0.75 earnings per diluted common share for the second quarter of 2021.


The $18.7 million decrease in net income attributable to Group was primarily due to a reduction of $15.2 million in accrued unbilled revenue and a $6.2 million decrease in unrealized gains on non-qualified benefit plan investments. Increases of $8.7 million in other operations expense, $1.6 million in depreciation and amortization, and $1.0 million in maintenance expense also reduced net income. The decrease in net income was partially offset by general rate increases of $6.9 million, increase in operating revenue from a change in deferred revenue of $5.1 million, and gain from company owned life insurance of $2.3 million. The $5.1 million change in deferred revenue offset $4.2 million of the increase in other operations expense.

The change in accrued unbilled revenue was mostly driven by the timing of when meter reads were completed during the month of June 2022 as compared to June 2021 and a decrease in customer consumption. In the second quarter of 2022, accrued unbilled revenue added $3.8 million to revenue as compared to $19.0 million for the same period last year. Over the past ten years, annual changes in accrued unbilled revenue have typically been less than $2.0 million. We expect the difference between 2022 and 2021 annual accrued unbilled revenue to be less than $2.0 million. Changes to unrealized gains on non-qualified benefit plan investments were caused by unfavorable market conditions.

According to President and Chief Executive Officer Martin A. Kropelnicki, results were in line with company expectations. “Although we were impacted by a few factors outside of our control, I’m pleased with second quarter results for our core operations. I’d also highlight that we:

  • Completed acquisitions in California, New Mexico, and Texas and entered into an agreement to acquire a system serving 900 customers in Washington.

  • Secured nearly $2.4 million in grants to fund improvements in two of our water-stressed, disadvantaged communities.

  • Moved all California districts into Stage 2 of our Water Shortage Contingency Plan and continued to respond to worsening drought conditions.

  • Renewed our at-the-market equity program with a planned size of up to $350 million over a three-year period to help fund our capital program.

  • Continued to work toward a successful conclusion of our 2021 California cost of capital review and general rate case filing.

  • And continued to invest in our water system infrastructure, including investments designed to better prepare us for wildfire and other climate change impacts.

Given the state of the economy and the uncertain timing of the conclusion of our general rate case in California, I expect the remainder of the year to be challenging. But I know I’m working alongside a strong, dedicated team of professionals who have a track record of performing in difficult times,” Kropelnicki said.

Additional Financial Results for the second quarter of 2022

Operating revenue decreased 3.3% to $206.2 million in the second quarter of 2022, a decrease of $6.9 million as compared to $213.1 million in the second quarter of 2021. The decrease was due primarily to a $15.2 million decrease in accrued unbilled revenue which was partially offset by general rate increases of $6.9 million and an increase from a change in deferred revenue of $5.1 million.

Total operating expenses increased $8.0 million, or 4.7%, to $178.9 million in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the prior year.

Water production costs decreased $4.0 million, or 5.3%, to $70.9 million in the second quarter of 2022, primarily due to a reduction in purchased water costs.

Administrative and general expenses increased $0.9 million, or 2.9%, to $32.7 million in the second quarter of 2022, due to increases in outside legal and consulting service costs of $0.8 million.

Other operations expenses increased $8.7 million, or 42.0%, to $29.4 million in the second quarter of 2022, primarily due to a $4.2 million increase in costs associated with a change in deferred revenue, $1.2 million increase in bad debt costs, and $0.9 million increase in conservation program expenses. Changes in conservation program expenses in regulated California operations generally do not affect net income, as the company has been allowed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to record these costs in a balancing account for future recovery.

Depreciation and amortization expense increased $1.6 million, or 5.7%, to $28.8 million in the second quarter of 2022 due to utility plant placed in service in 2021.

Income taxes decreased $0.5 million, or 26.3%, to $1.5 million in the second quarter of 2022 mostly due to a reduction in net operating income in the second quarter of 2022 as compared to the prior year.

Property and other taxes increased $0.4 million, or 5.0%, to $8.1 million in the second quarter of 2022, due primarily to an increase in our assessed property values for utility plant placed in service.

Net other income decreased $3.7 million, or 55.6%, to $2.9 million in the second quarter of 2022, due primarily to a $6.2 million decrease in unrealized gains on non-qualified benefit plan investments, which was partially offset by a $2.3 million gain on company owned life insurance and $1.1 million increase in other components of net periodic benefit credit.

Year-to-Date Results

For the six month period ended June 30, 2022, net income attributable to Group was $20.6 million or $0.38 earnings per diluted common share, compared to a net income attributable to Group of $35.2 million or $0.69 earnings per diluted common share for the six month period ended June 30, 2021.         

The $14.6 million decrease in net income attributable to Group was primarily due to a reduction of $12.8 million in accrued unbilled revenue and a $9.4 million decrease in unrealized gains on non-qualified benefit plan investments. Increases of $16.7 million in other operations expense, $4.0 million in administrative and general expense, $3.2 million in depreciation and amortization, $1.6 million in maintenance expense, and $1.2 million in net interest expense also reduced net income. The decrease in net income was partially offset by general rate increases of $12.1 million, increase in operating revenue from a change in deferred revenue of $14.5 million, gain from company owned life insurance of $2.7 million, increase in other components of net periodic benefit credit of $2.1 million, decrease in income tax expense of $1.8 million, and increase in non-regulated revenue of $1.3 million. The $14.5 million change in deferred revenue offset $11.9 million of the increase in other operations expense.

The change in accrued unbilled revenue was mostly driven by the timing of when meter reads were completed during the month of June 2022 as compared to June 2021 and a decrease in customer consumption. In the first six months of 2022, accrued unbilled revenue added $6.1 million to revenue as compared to $18.9 million in the same period last year. We expect the difference between 2022 and 2021 annual accrued unbilled revenue to be less than $2.0 million. Changes to unrealized gains on benefit plan investments were caused by unfavorable market conditions.
             
Liquidity and Financing

The company maintained $61.7 million of cash as of June 30, 2022 and had additional short-term borrowing capacity of more than $480.0 million, subject to meeting the borrowing conditions on the company’s line of credit facilities. Aged accounts receivable past due more than 60 days increased from $15.3 million as of March 31, 2022 to $20.6 million as of June 30, 2022; however, as of July 26, 2022 Cal Water is allowed to disconnect service for nonpayment of bills.

The company invested $144.6 million in infrastructure improvements during the six month period ended June 30, 2022. For 2022, the company's capital program will be dependent in part on the timing and nature of regulatory approvals in connection with our California general rate case (GRC) filing. The company proposed to the CPUC spending $1.0 billion on new capital projects in 2022-2024. We evaluate new capital project expenditures in California in the context of the pending GRC and these may change as the case moves forward.

On July 27, 2022, the Board of Directors approved a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share of common stock.

Water Revenue Adjustment Mechanism (WRAM) and Modified Cost Balancing Account (MCBA)

The under-collected net receivable balance in the WRAM and MCBA balancing account was $77.4 million as of June 30, 2022, a decrease of 2.7% or $2.2 million from the balance of $79.6 million as of March 31, 2022.

Other Information

All stockholders and interested investors are invited to listen to the 2022 second quarter conference call on July 28, 2022 at 8:00 a.m. PT (11:00 a.m. ET) by dialing 1-800-715-9871 or 1-646-307-1963 and keying in ID #1318225. Please dial in at least 15 minutes in advance of the call to ensure a timely connection. A replay of the call will be available from 11:00 a.m. PT (2:00 p.m. ET) on July 28, 2022 through September 28, 2022, at 1-800-715-9871 or 1-646-307-1963, ID #1318225. The replay will also be available under the investor relations tab at www.calwatergroup.com. Prior to the call, the company will post a slide presentation on its website. The presentation can be found at www.calwatergroup.com/docs/q22022slides.pdf after 6:00 a.m. PT. The call will be hosted by President and Chief Executive Officer Martin A. Kropelnicki, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Thomas F. Smegal III, and Vice President and Corporate Controller David B. Healey.

California Water Service Group is the parent company of regulated utilities California Water Service, Hawaii Water Service, New Mexico Water Service, and Washington Water Service, as well as Texas Water Service, a utility holding company. Together, these companies provide regulated and non-regulated water and wastewater service to more than 2.1 million people in California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Washington, and Texas. California Water Service Group’s common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CWT.” Additional information is available online at www.calwatergroup.com.

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("Act"). The forward-looking statements are intended to qualify under provisions of the federal securities laws for "safe harbor" treatment established by the Act. Forward-looking statements are based on currently available information, expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections, and management's judgment about the Company, the water utility industry and general economic conditions. Such words as will, would, expects, intends, plans, believes, may, estimates, assumes, anticipates, projects, progress, predicts, hopes, targets, forecasts or variations of such words or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. They are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may vary materially from what is contained in a forward-looking statement. Factors that may cause a result different than expected or anticipated include, but are not limited to: the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related public health measures; our ability to invest or apply the proceeds from the issuance of common stock in an accretive manner; governmental and regulatory commissions' decisions, including decisions on proper disposition of property; consequences of eminent domain actions relating to our water systems; changes in regulatory commissions' policies and procedures, such as the CPUC’s decision in 2020 to preclude companies from proposing fully decoupled WRAMs in their next GRC filing (which impacted our 2021 GRC filing related to our operations commencing in 2023); the outcome and timeliness of regulatory commissions' actions concerning rate relief and other matters, including with respect to our 2021 GRC filing; increased risk of inverse condemnation losses as a result of climate change and drought; our ability to renew leases to operate water systems owned by others on beneficial terms; changes in California State Water Resources Control Board water quality standards; changes in environmental compliance and water quality requirements; electric power interruptions, especially as a result of Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) programs; housing and customer growth; the impact of opposition to rate increases; our ability to recover costs; availability of water supplies; issues with the implementation, maintenance or security of our information technology systems; civil disturbances or terrorist threats or acts; the adequacy of our efforts to mitigate physical and cyber security risks and threats; the ability of our enterprise risk management processes to identify or address risks adequately; labor relations matters as we negotiate with the unions; changes in customer water use patterns and the effects of conservation, including as a result of drought conditions; our ability to complete, in a timely manner or at all, successfully integrate and achieve anticipated benefits from announced acquisitions; the impact of weather, climate change, natural disasters, and actual or threatened public health emergencies, including disease outbreaks, on our operations, water quality, water availability, water sales and operating results and the adequacy of our emergency preparedness; restrictive covenants in or changes to the credit ratings on our current or future debt that could increase our financing costs or affect our ability to borrow, make payments on debt or pay dividends; risks associated with expanding our business and operations geographically; the impact of stagnating or worsening business and economic conditions, including inflationary pressures, general economic slowdown or a recession, increasing interest rates, and changes in monetary policy; and other risks and unforeseen events described in our SEC filings. When considering forward-looking statements, you should keep in mind the cautionary statements included in this paragraph, as well as the Annual 10-K, Quarterly 10-Q, and other reports filed from time-to-time with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Company assumes no obligation to provide public updates of forward-looking statements.

Contact
Tom Smegal
(408) 367-8200 (analysts)

Shannon Dean
(408) 367-8243 (media)


CALIFORNIA WATER SERVICE GROUP

 

 

 

 

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

 

 

 

 

Unaudited

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(In thousands, except per share data)

June 30

 

December 31

 

 

 

 

 

2022

 

 

 

2021

 

 

ASSETS

 

 

 

 

 

Utility plant:

 

 

 

 

 

Utility plant

$

4,341,433

 

 

$

4,197,344

 

 

 

Less accumulated depreciation and amortization

 

(1,406,757

)

 

 

(1,350,482

)

 

 

 

Net utility plant

 

2,934,676

 

 

 

2,846,862

 

 

Current assets:

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

61,749

 

 

 

78,380

 

 

 

Receivables:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customers, net

 

68,404

 

 

 

60,785

 

 

 

 

Regulatory balancing accounts

 

56,625

 

 

 

78,597

 

 

 

 

Other, net

 

19,803

 

 

 

18,452

 

 

 

Unbilled revenue, net

 

38,796

 

 

 

32,760

 

 

 

Materials and supplies at weighted average cost

 

10,567

 

 

 

9,511

 

 

 

Taxes, prepaid expenses, and other assets

 

20,708

 

 

 

21,973

 

 

 

 

Total current assets

 

276,652

 

 

 

300,458

 

 

Other assets:

 

 

 

 

 

Regulatory assets

 

287,625

 

 

 

285,692

 

 

 

Goodwill

 

36,814

 

 

 

36,814

 

 

 

Other assets

 

146,985

 

 

 

153,445

 

 

 

 

Total other assets

 

471,424

 

 

 

475,951

 

 

TOTAL ASSETS

$

3,682,752

 

 

$

3,623,271

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAPITALIZATION AND LIABILITIES

 

 

 

 

Capitalization:

 

 

 

 

 

Common stock, $.01 par value; 68,000 shares authorized, 54,356 and 53,716 outstanding in 2022 and 2021, respectively

$

544

 

 

$

537

 

 

 

Additional paid-in capital

 

682,353

 

 

 

651,121

 

 

 

Retained earnings

 

519,625

 

 

 

525,936

 

 

 

Noncontrolling interests

 

4,784

 

 

 

5,386

 

 

 

 

Total equity

 

1,207,306

 

 

 

1,182,980

 

 

 

Long-term debt, net

 

1,054,170

 

 

 

1,055,794

 

 

 

 

Total capitalization

 

2,261,476

 

 

 

2,238,774

 

 

Current liabilities:

 

 

 

 

 

Current maturities of long-term debt, net

 

5,783

 

 

 

5,192

 

 

 

Short-term borrowings

 

70,000

 

 

 

35,000

 

 

 

Accounts payable

 

139,732

 

 

 

144,369

 

 

 

Regulatory balancing accounts

 

9,627

 

 

 

17,547

 

 

 

Accrued interest

 

6,740

 

 

 

6,542

 

 

 

Accrued expenses and other liabilities

 

54,201

 

 

 

47,926

 

 

 

 

Total current liabilities

 

286,083

 

 

 

256,576

 

 

Deferred income taxes

 

300,489

 

 

 

298,945

 

 

Pension

 

 

94,796

 

 

 

92,287

 

 

Regulatory liabilities and other

 

254,109

 

 

 

252,938

 

 

Advances for construction

 

198,674

 

 

 

198,086

 

 

Contributions in aid of construction

 

287,125

 

 

 

285,665

 

 

Commitments and contingencies

 

 

 

 

TOTAL CAPITALIZATION AND LIABILITIES

$

3,682,752

 

 

$

3,623,271

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



CALIFORNIA WATER SERVICE GROUP

 

 

 

 

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

 

 

 

 

Unaudited

 

 

 

 

(In thousands, except per share data)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the Three Months ended:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 30,

 

June 30,

 

 

 

 

 

2022

 

 

 

2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating revenue

$

206,194

 

 

$

213,123

 

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

Operations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water production costs

 

70,907

 

 

 

74,911

 

 

 

 

Administrative and general

 

32,686

 

 

 

31,756

 

 

 

 

Other operations

 

29,417

 

 

 

20,720

 

 

 

Maintenance

 

7,615

 

 

 

6,610

 

 

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

28,773

 

 

 

27,237

 

 

 

Income taxes

 

1,454

 

 

 

1,972

 

 

 

Property and other taxes

 

8,053

 

 

 

7,671

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

 

178,905

 

 

 

170,877

 

 

 

 

Net operating income

 

27,289

 

 

 

42,246

 

 

Other income and expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

Non-regulated revenue

 

7,002

 

 

 

5,374

 

 

 

Non-regulated expenses

 

(8,541

)

 

 

(1,815

)

 

 

Other components of net periodic benefit credit

 

3,765

 

 

 

2,688

 

 

 

Allowance for equity funds used during construction

 

1,042

 

 

 

848

 

 

 

Income tax expense on other income and expenses

 

(345

)

 

 

(512

)

 

 

 

Net other income

 

2,923

 

 

 

6,583

 

 

Interest expense:

 

 

 

 

 

Interest expense

 

11,586

 

 

 

11,206

 

 

 

Allowance for borrowed funds used during construction

 

(589

)

 

 

(453

)

 

 

 

Net interest expense

 

10,997

 

 

 

10,753

 

 

Net income

 

19,215

 

 

 

38,076

 

 

Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests

 

(269

)

 

 

(149

)

 

Net income attributable to California Water Service Group

$

19,484

 

 

$

38,225

 

 

Earnings per share of common stock

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

$

0.36

 

 

$

0.75

 

 

 

Diluted

$

0.36

 

 

$

0.75

 

 

Weighted average shares outstanding

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

54,007

 

 

 

51,080

 

 

 

Diluted

 

54,042

 

 

 

51,080

 

 

Dividends per share of common stock

$

0.25

 

 

$

0.23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CALIFORNIA WATER SERVICE GROUP

 

 

 

 

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

 

 

 

 

Unaudited

 

 

 

 

(In thousands, except per share data)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the Six Months ended:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 30,

 

June 30,

 

 

 

 

 

2022

 

 

 

2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating revenue

$

379,187

 

 

$

360,860

 

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

Operations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water production costs

 

132,445

 

 

 

129,737

 

 

 

 

Administrative and general

 

66,097

 

 

 

62,125

 

 

 

 

Other operations

 

55,269

 

 

 

38,632

 

 

 

Maintenance

 

14,956

 

 

 

13,379

 

 

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

57,543

 

 

 

54,284

 

 

 

Income taxes

 

37

 

 

 

1,871

 

 

 

Property and other taxes

 

16,413

 

 

 

15,667

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

 

342,760

 

 

 

315,695

 

 

 

 

Net operating income

 

36,427

 

 

 

45,165

 

 

Other income and expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

Non-regulated revenue

 

12,199

 

 

 

10,946

 

 

 

Non-regulated expenses

 

(15,527

)

 

 

(6,575

)

 

 

Other components of net periodic benefit credit

 

7,779

 

 

 

5,667

 

 

 

Allowance for equity funds used during construction

 

2,017

 

 

 

1,392

 

 

 

Income tax expense on other income and expenses

 

(857

)

 

 

(870

)

 

 

 

Net other income

 

5,611

 

 

 

10,560

 

 

Interest expense:

 

 

 

 

 

Interest expense

 

23,081

 

 

 

21,428

 

 

 

Allowance for borrowed funds used during construction

 

(1,152

)

 

 

(747

)

 

 

 

Net interest expense

 

21,929

 

 

 

20,681

 

 

Net income

 

20,109

 

 

 

35,044

 

 

Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests

 

(461

)

 

 

(149

)

 

Net income attributable to California Water Service Group

$

20,570

 

 

$

35,193

 

 

Earnings per share of common stock

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

$

0.38

 

 

$

0.69

 

 

 

Diluted

$

0.38

 

 

$

0.69

 

 

Weighted average shares outstanding

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

53,870

 

 

 

50,762

 

 

 

Diluted

 

53,918

 

 

 

50,762

 

 

Dividends per share of common stock

$

0.50

 

 

$

0.46