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American States Water Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Before I discuss the results for the quarter, Bob would like to say a few words. Bob?

Robert J. Sprowls

Thank you, Eva, and thank you, everyone, for joining our call. As many of you know, our Board of Directors last week approved a $0.075 increase in the quarterly cash dividend to $0.355 per share. This represents a 27% increase in the quarterly dividend. This substantial increase reflects our board's confidence in the sustainability of the company's earnings and the prospects for the future at all of our business segments: our water utility, the electric utility and contracted services.

The dividend increase is also an indication of just how much our contracted services business has grown over the past several years as we have not historically paid a dividend on these earnings. We believe that long-term, sustainable earnings from this business will have a continued -- will be a continued source of dividends for our shareholders and we have adjusted our dividend accordingly.

I will discuss ASUS in more detail later and its contribution to the current dividend. Although we do not have a set dividend payout ratio, we believe that prudently increasing dividend enhances our ability to attract capital in the future. For 58 consecutive years, American States Water Company shareholders have received an increase in their annual dividend payments. I'm pleased to say that we are one of only a handful of companies on the New York Stock Exchange that can claim this kind of record. With that, I'll turn the call back over to Eva to discuss the results from the quarter.

Eva G. Tang

Thank you, Bob. I'm very pleased to report that we continue to deliver strong quarterly results with an increas in earnings from continuing operations of 15% to $0.79 per fully diluted share compared to $0.68 per share for the second quarter of 2011. Net income from continuing operations for the quarter increased by $2.4 million or 18.5% increase compared to the same period in 2011. The increase is driven by increases in earnings from all 3 of our business segments.

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