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Aqua America Reports Growth In Earnings For Third Quarter

Stocks in this article: WTR

DeBenedictis said, “After operating and managing the Kidder Township wastewater system for more than five years, we were certainly pleased to have won the bid to acquire the assets. This system is relatively new with much of it constructed in 2002. The five years we spent managing its operations and getting to know the community has led to a seamless transition for customers and an assurance that their wastewater system will continue to be operated and managed by professionals.”

In the first nine months of the year we added 3,724 customers through organic growth, which is consistent with of the U.S. Commerce Department’s recent report on national housing statistics showing an increase in housing starts.

On September 25, Aqua America announced that it had offered to sell all of its Florida operations to the Florida Governmental Utility Authority (FGUA) for $95 million. The sale of its Florida water and wastewater systems would conclude Aqua America’s operations in Florida. The FGUA has until November 30 to accept or decline the offer, and does not have an exclusivity agreement with Aqua America to purchase the systems.

Aqua Pennsylvania has priced $80 million in privately placed first mortgage bonds at an average rate of 3.81%. Proceeds from this transaction will be used to refinance higher coupon first mortgage bonds and pay down its revolving credit facility. Closing is scheduled for early November. As of September 30, 2012, Aqua America’s weighted average cost of fixed-rate long-term debt was 5.2 percent, and the company had $111.6 million available on its credit lines. In September, Standard & Poor’s reiterated its A+ credit rating for Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc., Aqua America’s largest subsidiary. Of the 227 electric, gas and water utilities rated by Standard & Poor’s, only one has a higher rating than Aqua Pennsylvania.

In late 2011, operating subsidiaries of Aqua America and Penn Virginia entered into a joint venture to form Aqua — PVR Water Services, LLC to construct and operate a private pipeline system to supply fresh water to certain natural gas producers drilling in the Marcellus Shale. The 18-mile steel pipeline began servicing certain drillers in North-central Pennsylvania on an as-needed basis in April this year. Phase II construction of a second 18-mile stretch began in June and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. To date, it is estimated that the pipeline has eliminated the need for more than 15,000 water truck trips over rural Pennsylvania roads.

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