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Water Industry News

March 09, 2006 10:16 AM ET

Aqua America 4Q Earnings Edge Down

BRYN MAWR, Pa. (AP) - Water utility company Aqua America Inc. said Thursday fourth-quarter earnings edged down, missing Wall Street expectations, as higher expenses offset revenue growth of nearly 7 percent.

Earnings fell slightly to $22.2 million, or 17 cents per share, from $22.5 million, or 18 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue increased to $122.9 million from $115.4 million, helped by rate increases and acquisitions.

Analysts expected Aqua America to post a profit of 18 cents per share on revenue of $125 million, according to Thomson Financial.

Expenses for the quarter grew 16 percent to $76.9 million.

For the full year, Aqua America's earnings grew 14 percent to $91.2 million, or 71 cents per share, from 2004's profit of $80 million, or 64 cents per share. Annual revenue increased 12 percent to $496.8 million from $442 million.