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California Water (CWT) Q4 Earnings & Revenues Miss Estimates

California Water Service Group CWT recorded a fourth-quarter 2023 adjusted earnings of 52 cents per share, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.50 by 65.3%. The bottom line, however, increased from the year-ago quarter’s figure of 35 cents.

Full-year 2023 earnings came in at 91 cents per share, down 48.6% from the previous year’s $1.77.

Total Revenues

Operating revenues totaled $214.5 million, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $278 million by 22.8%. The top line, however, increased 6.7% from $201 million recorded in the prior-year quarter. The year-over-year increase was due to the implementation of new rates and higher customer usage.

Full-year revenues came in at $794.6 million, down 6.1% from last year’s $846.4 million.

 

California Water Service Group Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

California Water Service Group price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | California Water Service Group Quote

Operational Update

California Water’s total operating expenses were $179.3 million, up 2.6% from the year-ago quarter’s level of $174.7 million. The year-over-year surge was due to an increase of $6.2 million in water production expenses, $5.3 million in employee wages and $1.2 million in financing costs.

CWT reported maintenance expenses of $7.9 million, down 5% year over year.

Net operating income was $35.2 million compared with the year-ago quarter’s level of $26.3 million.

Net interest expenses were $13 million, up 11.1% from the prior-year quarter’s figure of $11.7 million. The year-over-year rise was primarily due to an increase in short-term borrowing rates and higher outstanding borrowings on short-term credit facilities.

Financial Update

As of Dec 31, 2023, CWT had cash and cash equivalents of $39.6 million compared with $62.1 million as of Dec 31, 2022.

As of Dec 31, 2023, its net long-term debt was $1.053 billion compared with $1.052 billion as of Dec 31, 2022.

The company invested $383.7 million in infrastructure improvements in 2023, up 17.1% from the 2022 level.

Zacks Rank

Currently, CWT carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Recent Releases

American Water Works Company AWK posted fourth-quarter 2023 operating earnings per share (EPS) of 88 cents, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 84 cents by 4.8%.

AWK’s long-term (three to five years) earnings growth rate is 7.76%. It delivered an average earnings surprise of 6% in the last four quarters.

American States Water Company AWR reported fourth-quarter 2023 operating EPS of 55 cents, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 53 cents by 3.8%.

AWR’s long-term earnings growth rate is 6.3%. It delivered an average earnings surprise of 3.1% in the last four quarters.

Essential Utilities Inc. WTRG delivered fourth-quarter 2023 operating EPS of 50 cents, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.

WTRG’s long-term earnings growth rate is 5.6%. It delivered an average earnings surprise of 0.7% in the last four quarters.

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