American States Water Beats on Earnings

Zacks

American States Water Company (AWR) posted fourth-quarter 2013 earnings of 30 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 19 cents by 57.9%.

The bottom line increased 11.1% year over year, primarily due to improved earnings from the Water segment (up 38.5% year over year). AWR (parent) reported earnings of a cent in the quarter. The positives were partially offset by earnings declines at the company’s Electric (down 50% year over year) and Contracted Services (down 16.7% year over year) segments.

In 2013, earnings were $1.61 per share, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.47 by 9.5%. Reported earnings jumped 14.2% from the prior year.

Operational Update

In the quarter under review, American States Water’s total operating revenues were $109.9 million, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $114 million by 3.6%. Total operating revenues were also down 1.4% year over year.

Total operating revenues of $472.1 million in 2013 missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.7%. On a year-over-year basis, revenues increased 1.1% from $466.9 million.

In the quarter, the company’s total operating expenses were $88.3 million, down 2.3% year over year primarily due to lower maintenance expenses and American States Utility Services, Inc. (“ASUS”) construction expenses.

American States Water’s quarterly operating income increased 2.5% year over year to $21.7 million.

Interest expenses totaled $5 million in the fourth quarter, up 1.2% year over year.

Financial Update

As of Dec 31, 2013, American States Water’s cash and cash equivalents were $38.2 million compared with $23.5 million as of Dec 31, 2012.

Long-term debt as of Dec 31, 2013, was $326.1 million compared with $332.5 million as of Dec 31, 2012.

Net cash from operating activities was $135.7 million in 2013, up from $101.5 million in the comparable year-ago period.

American States Water’s capital expenditures increased 43% to $97.4 million in 2013 from $68.1 million in the prior year.

Peer Comparison

California Water Service Group (CWT) announced fourth-quarter 2013 operating earnings of 12 cents per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7 cents.

Zacks Rank

American States Water currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, some better-ranked stocks in the same industry include SJW Corp. (SJW) and Connecticut Water Service Inc. (CTWS). While SJW Corp. sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Connecticut Water Service carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Read the Full Research Report on CTWS
Read the Full Research Report on SJW
Read the Full Research Report on CWT
Read the Full Research Report on AWR


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