Aqua America Climbs on Higher Profit and Acquisition Plans

Aqua America Inc., the second-biggest publicly traded U.S. water utility, rose the most in a year after reporting higher profit for the second quarter and saying it plans to expand.

Aqua America gained 2.7 percent to $23.96 at the close in New York, the most since Aug. 1, 2013.

The company has closed on seven acquisitions in four states in 2014.

“We expect to complete another 10 to 12 by year end,” Chief Executive Officer Nicholas DeBenedictis said today on a conference call with analysts. “We should grow our customer base for the year by 1.5 percent, our best performance since 2008.”

Second-quarter net income rose 3.7 percent to $55.6 million, or 31 cents a share, from $53.6 million, or 30 cents, a year earlier, the Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania-based company said yesterday in a statement after the close of regular trading. Aqua America raised its dividend 8.6 percent to 16.5 cents a share.

American Water Works Co. is the largest publicly traded U.S. water utility.

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