Aqua America Inc. (WTR:US), 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:US), has risen 14 percent this year in New York. The utility acquired 18 water companies and wastewater systems last year.
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