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8 High-Dividend Utility Stocks to Watch

8. Aqua America (WTR - Get Report), is a holding company for regulated utilities that provide water or wastewater services in Pennsylvania, Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Indiana, Virginia, Maine, Missouri, and Georgia. The company will report its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday.

On June 1, the company paid its regular quarterly cash dividend of 15.5 cents per share, up 6.9% from the dividend paid in June 2010. With a consecutive quarterly dividend history of 65 years, Aqua has a dividend yield of 2.62%.

The company is likely to report net income of $32.84 million, or 24 cents per share, compared to $29.78 million, or 22 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter, according to analysts polled by Bloomberg. For the quarter, sales are seen rising 6% to $189.14 million from $178.44 million in same quarter of 2010. Operating profit for the period is estimated at $71.28 million against $66.08 million in year-ago quarter. Cash flow per share for the quarter is estimated to soar by 88% to 49 cents from the year-ago quarter.

Of the 15 analysts covering the stock, 40% recommend a buy and 53% suggest a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg forecast the stock gaining an average 14% to $24.29 in the upcoming 12 months.

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