Third quarter 2020 diluted earnings reach $0.91 per share
Connecticut and Maine operations contribute $37.1 million in new revenues
The CPUC’s Order Instituting Investigation into SJW Group’s merger with Connecticut Water Service, Inc. was dismissed and the proceeding was officially concluded
Reaffirming 2020 guidance of $1.95 to $2.05 per diluted share
SJW Group (NYSE: SJW) today reported financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020. SJW Group net income was $26.1 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2020, compared to $9.5 million for the same period in 2019. Diluted earnings per share were $0.91 and $0.33 for the quarters ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Diluted earnings per share in 2020 includes $0.92 per share from ongoing operations offset by non-recurring expenses related to COVID-19 of $319,000 (net of tax) or $0.01 per share. Diluted earnings per share in 2019 includes $0.60 per share from ongoing operations and $0.06 per share of interest income earned on temporarily invested proceeds from our equity offering in December 2018, offset by $0.29 per share related to the reserve recorded against our 2018 and 2019 Water Conservation Memorandum Account ("WCMA") balances as we determined we no longer met the requirements for revenue recognition and $0.05 per share of non-recurring expenses related to our merger with Connecticut Water Service, Inc. ("CTWS").
Operating revenue was $165.9 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2020, compared to $114.0 million in 2019. The $51.9 million increase in revenue was primarily attributable to $37.1 million in new revenue as a result of the merger with CTWS, $2.3 million in cumulative water rate increases, and $2.4 million in increased customer usage. In addition, we recorded a $9.5 million reserve for the 2018 and 2019 WCMA balances in the prior year as we determined we no longer met the requirements for revenue recognition. No similar reserve was required in 2020.
Operating expenses for the quarter ended September 30, 2020, were $124.0 million, compared to $96.9 million in 2019, an increase of $27.1 million. Operating expenses include 2020 third quarter water production expenses of $69.7 million compared to $56.4 million for the same period in 2019, an increase of $13.3 million. The increase in water production expenses was primarily attributable to $6.5 million in new CTWS expenses, $5.4 million due to a decrease in surface water supplies, and $2.2 million in higher customer water usage, partially offset by $0.5 million in lower per unit costs for purchased water, groundwater extraction and energy charges. Operating expenses, excluding water production costs, increased $13.7 million to $54.3 million from $40.6 million. The increase was primarily due to a $7.3 million increase in depreciation and amortization expenses, $4.4 million in higher general and administrative expenses, and $3.7 million in higher property taxes and other non-income taxes. The increases were primarily a result of inclusion of CTWS post-merger activities. In addition, we experienced $1.7 million in lower merger related expenses as compared to the same quarter in 2019.
Other expense and income in the third quarter of 2020 included $1.8 million of interest from CTWS, $4.1 million in new interest on SJW Group’s $510.0 million Senior Notes issued in October 2019 and $0.3 million in new interest on Connecticut Water Company’s $35.0 million Senior Notes issued in March 2020. Other expense and income in the third quarter of 2019 included $2.2 million of interest income earned on temporarily invested proceeds from our equity offering in December 2018. The proceeds were used to partially finance the CTWS merger and no similar income was earned in the third quarter of 2020.
The effective consolidated income tax rates for the quarters ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, were approximately 15% and 21%, respectively. The effective tax rate decreased primarily due to the flow-through impact of certain CTWS tax deductions.
Year-to-Date Operating Results
Year-to-date net income was $48.2 million, compared to $28.9 million in 2019. Diluted earnings per share were $1.68 in the first nine months of 2020, compared to $1.01 per diluted share for the same period in 2019. Diluted earnings per share in 2020 includes $1.75 per share from ongoing operations offset by non-recurring expenses related to COVID-19 of $1.0 million (net of tax) or $0.03 per share and CTWS merger and integration fees of $1.2 million (net of tax) or $0.04 per share. Diluted earnings per share in 2019 includes $1.34 per share from ongoing operations and $0.17 per share of interest income earned on temporarily invested proceeds from our equity offering in December 2018, offset by $0.28 per share related to the reserve recorded against our 2018 and 2019 WCMA revenue balances, $0.16 per share of non-recurring expenses related to the CTWS merger and $0.06 per share related to a settlement of San Jose Water Company’s Order Instituting Investigation proceeding with the California Public Utilities Commission over a past customer billing practice.
Year-to-date operating revenue increased by $134.2 million to $428.8 million from $294.6 million in the first nine months of 2020. The increase was primarily attributable to $97.4 million in new revenue as a result of the merger with CTWS, $16.9 million in increased customer usage, and $7.4 million in cumulative water rate increases. In addition, as previously noted we recorded a $9.4 million reserve for the 2018 and 2019 WCMA balances in the prior year and we issued $2.2 million in customer rate credits in the prior year related to our billing settlement with the CPUC. No similar reserve or rate credits were required in 2020.
Year-to-date water production expenses increased to $171.6 million from $125.3 million in 2019. The $46.3 million increase was primarily attributable to $19.6 million in new CTWS expenses, $17.5 million due to a decrease in the use of available surface water supplies, $10.4 million in higher customer water usage, and $2.4 million in higher per unit costs for purchased water, groundwater extraction and energy charges, partially offset by a $3.6 million decrease in cost recovery balancing and memorandum accounts. Operating expenses, excluding water production costs, increased $45.9 million to $163.8 million from $117.9 million. The increase was primarily due to a $21.2 million increase in depreciation and amortization expenses, $18.2 million in higher general and administrative expenses, $10.3 million in higher property taxes and other non-income taxes, and $2.0 million in higher maintenance expenses. The increases were primarily a result of inclusion of CTWS post-merger activities. In addition, we experienced $6.1 million in lower merger related expenses.
Other expense and income year-to-date for 2020 included $12.3 million in new interest on SJW Group’s $510.0 million Senior Notes issued in October 2019, $6.3 million of interest from CTWS, and $614,000 in new interest on Connecticut Water Company’s $35.0 million Senior Notes issued in March 2020. Other expense and income year-to-date 2019 included $6.3 million of interest income earned on temporarily invested proceeds from our equity offering in December 2018. The proceeds were used to partially finance the CTWS merger and no similar income was earned in 2020.
The effective consolidated income tax rates for the nine-month periods ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, were approximately 16% and 23%, respectively. The effective tax rate decreased primarily due to the flow-through impact of certain CTWS tax deductions.
SJW Group marked the one-year anniversary of its transformative combination with Connecticut Water Service, Inc. on October 9, 2020. "The strength of our combination is evident as our combined team, across all four states, have responded to unprecedented challenges that began just months into the integration," stated Eric W. Thornburg, chairman, president and CEO of SJW Group. Thornburg added, "The similarity of our cultures, values and commitment to service have accelerated our integration in many ways. Our cross-country teams have collaborated on a response to COVID-19 that has honored our mission of protecting public health, keeping our people safe and living our values. We are delivering results for our shareholders through exceptional service to families and communities while protecting the environment and being socially responsible."
On July 30, 2020, the Maine Water Company held a virtual groundbreaking for the new Saco River Drinking Water Treatment Facility in Biddeford, Maine. The new facility replaces the current treatment facility that has been in service since 1884. The new facility will cost more than $50 million and is expected to be online in 2022. It is a generational investment that will serve the needs of current and future customers and communities in southern Maine for decades to come. It is being designed to be certified as sustainable infrastructure through the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s Envision program.
On August 31, 2020, the California Public Utilities Commission issued a decision dismissing the Order Instituting Investigation 18-07-007 (OII) into SJW Group’s merger with CTWS. The OII is officially concluded.
As previously announced on October 28, 2020, the Directors of SJW Group declared a quarterly dividend on common stock of $0.32 per share. The dividend is payable on December 1, 2020 to shareholders of record on November 9, 2020. This marks SJW Group’s 309th quarterly consecutive dividend payment. For 53 consecutive years, SJW Group stockholders have received an increase in their calendar year dividend without interruption or reduction, which places it in an exclusive group of companies on the New York Stock Exchange.
SJW Group Reaffirms Earnings Guidance
SJW Group is affirming its 2020 guidance provided in the 2020 first quarter press release of a range of $1.95 and $2.05 per diluted share.
Earnings Call Information
Eric W. Thornburg, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer, and James P. Lynch, chief financial officer and treasurer, will review the results in a live webcast presentation at 8:00 a.m. PT, 11:00 a.m. ET on November 5, 2020.
Interested parties may access the webcast and related presentation materials at the website www.sjwgroup.com. An archive of the webcast will be available until January 25, 2021.
About SJW Group
SJW Group is the second largest investor-owned pure play water and wastewater utility based on estimated rate base in the United States, providing life-saving and high-quality water service to nearly 1.5 million people. SJW Group’s locally led and operated water utilities - San Jose Water Company in California; Connecticut Water Company; Maine Water Company in Maine; and SJWTX, Inc. (dba Canyon Lake Water Service Company) in Texas - possess the financial strength, operational expertise and technological innovation to deliver outstanding service to customers, safeguard the environment, and provide opportunities to employees. SJW Group remains focused on investing in its operations, remaining actively engaged in its local communities and delivering continued sustainable value to its shareholders. For more information about SJW Group, please visit www.sjwgroup.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Some of these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as "believes," "expects," "may," "will," "should," "seeks," "approximately," "intends," "plans," "estimates," "projects," "strategy," or "anticipates," or the negative of those words or other comparable terminology. These forward looking statements are only predictions and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict.
The accuracy of such statements is subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions including, but not limited to, the following factors: (1) the effect of water, utility, environmental and other governmental policies and regulations, including actions concerning rates, authorized return on equity, authorized capital structures, capital expenditures and other decisions; (2) changes in demand for water and other services; (3) the impact of the Coronavirus ("COVID-19") pandemic on our business operation and financial results; (4) unanticipated weather conditions and changes in seasonality; (5) climate change and the effects thereof; (6) the risk that the benefits expected from the merger of SJW Group and Connecticut Water Service, Inc. will not be realized; (7) the risk that the integration of Connecticut Water Service, Inc. will be more difficult, time-consuming or expensive than anticipated; (8) unexpected costs, charges or expenses; (9) our ability to successfully evaluate investments in new business and growth initiatives; (10) the risk of work stoppages, strikes and other labor-related actions; (11) catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, floods, ice storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, terrorist acts, physical attacks, cyber-attacks, or other similar occurrences; (12) changes in general economic, political, business and financial market conditions; (13) the ability to obtain financing on favorable terms, which can be affected by various factors, including credit ratings, changes in interest rates, compliance with regulatory requirements, compliance with the terms and conditions of our outstanding indebtedness, and general stock and debt market conditions; and (14) legislative and general market and economic developments.
Results for a quarter are not indicative of results for a full year due to seasonality and other factors. In addition, actual results are subject to other risks and uncertainties that relate more broadly to our overall business, including those more fully described in our filings with the SEC, including our most recent reports on Form 10-K, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance, and speak only as of the date made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements except as required by law.
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income
(in thousands, except per share data)
Three months ended September 30,
Nine months ended September 30,
Groundwater extraction charges
Other production expenses
Total production expenses
Administrative and general
Property taxes and other non-income taxes
Depreciation and amortization
Merger related expenses
Total operating expense
OTHER (EXPENSE) INCOME:
Pension non-service cost
Interest income on money market fund
Gain on sale of real estate investment
Income before income taxes
Provision for income taxes
NET INCOME BEFORE NONCONTROLLING INTEREST
Less net income attributable to noncontrolling interest
SJW GROUP NET INCOME
Other comprehensive income (loss), net
SJW GROUP COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
SJW GROUP EARNINGS PER SHARE:
DIVIDENDS PER SHARE
WEIGHTED AVERAGE SHARES OUTSTANDING:
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
(in thousands, except share and per share data)
Depreciable plant and equipment
Construction in progress
Total utility plant
Less accumulated depreciation and amortization
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Real estate investments
Less accumulated depreciation and amortization
Net real estate investments
Cash and cash equivalents:
Accounts receivable and accrued unbilled utility revenue
Current regulatory assets, net
Other current assets
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Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
(in thousands, except share and per share data)
CAPITALIZATION AND LIABILITIES
Common stock, $0.001 par value; authorized 70,000,000 shares; issued and outstanding shares 28,552,177 on September 30, 2020 and 28,456,508 on December 31, 2019
Additional paid-in capital
Accumulated other comprehensive income
Total stockholders’ equity
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Accrued groundwater extraction charges, purchased water and power
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DEFERRED INCOME TAXES
ADVANCES FOR CONSTRUCTION AND CONTRIBUTIONS IN AID OF CONSTRUCTION
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COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
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James P. Lynch, 408-279-7966
Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer