Aqua America Inc. (WTR), the second- biggest U.S. water utility by market value, said profit almost doubled in the fourth quarter, helped by higher sales and a tax accounting change.
Net income jumped to $66.6 million from $34 million a year earlier, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania-based Aqua America said in a statement, citing a 12 percent increase in revenue to $187.5 million and a tax deduction for 2012 infrastructure investments.
Aqua America is undertaking infrastructure improvements including replacing pipes and upgrading water plants. In late 2011, the utility started a venture with Penn Virginia Resource Partners LP to supply water to natural-gas drillers in the Marcellus Shale. That business is already profitable, with pipelines pumping 120 million gallons of water to date, eliminating 24,000 water-truck trips on roads, it said today.
Aqua America, whose biggest publicly traded competitor in the U.S. is American Water Works Co. (AWK), has risen 14 percent this year in New York. The utility acquired 18 water companies and wastewater systems last year.
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