California Water Service Group Announces Second Quarter 2014 Results

SAN JOSE, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/30/14 -- California Water Service Group (NYSE: CWT) today announced net income of $17.2 million or $0.36 per diluted common share for the second quarter of 2014, compared to net income of $13.5 million or $0.28 per diluted common share for the second quarter of 2013. Included in the second quarter of 2014 operating results is a $2.5 million (or $0.05 per diluted common share) non-recurring tax benefit.

Revenue for the second quarter of 2014 was $158.4 million, compared to revenue of $154.6 million in second quarter 2013, in part due to higher estimated unbilled revenue. The unbilled revenue increase resulted from higher consumption at the end of the quarter which is not included in the water revenue adjustment mechanism (WRAM).

Total operating expenses for the second quarter of 2014 increased $1.4 million, or 1%, to $135.1 million. Increases in water production costs, primarily purchased water cost increases, were partially offset by decreases in other operating expenses, income taxes, and property and other taxes. Maintenance expense increased $0.8 million, or 19%, to $5.0 million, while depreciation expense increased $1.6 million, or 11%, to $16.1 million due to 2014 capital additions.

Other income, net of income taxes, increased $0.7 million in the second quarter of 2014, primarily due to an increase in unrealized gains on our benefit plan insurance investments. Interest expense decreased $0.4 million, or 6%, to $6.9 million due to the Company's repayment of long-term debt in 2013.

A delay in the decision on the Company's largest subsidiary's General Rate Case, filed with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in 2012, continued to impact results for the quarter. On July 21, 2014, the CPUC issued a Proposed Decision on California Water Service Company's (Cal Water) General Rate Case. The Proposed Decision will not become effective until it has been reviewed and approved by the CPUC. The Commission may adopt the proposed decision, modify it, or reject it.

Until the Proposed Decision is adopted, Cal Water will continue to track the difference between approved interim rates and new rates that are eventually adopted in a memorandum account. After new rates are implemented, the memorandum account balance will be collected through customer surcharges over 12, 24, or 36 months. Had the Commission approved the settlement proposed by the parties effective January 1, 2014, the new rates would have increased pre-tax income $10.2 million for the six month period ended June 30, 2014. The proposed new rates would have added the following to the Company's results in 2014: $16.1 million of pre-tax income for service charges, flat rate, and fire protection rate increases, $1.6 million of pre-tax income from the proposed new health care balancing account, and a $7.5 million reduction to WRAM pre-tax income.

"We are pleased to have a Proposed Decision in Cal Water's General Rate Case. We are looking forward to receiving a final decision that will allow us to recover prudently incurred costs of providing a safe, reliable water supply and earn a reasonable return on critical infrastructure investments," said President and Chief Executive Officer Martin A. Kropelnicki.

"Having this lengthy proceeding behind us will enable us to focus all of our attention on meeting our customers' need for a reliable supply of high quality water in the midst of one of the most serious droughts in the state's history," he said.

All stockholders and interested investors are invited to listen to the teleconference. The 2014 second quarter conference call may be accessed by dialing 1-888-572-7033 or 1-719-325-2491 and keying in ID# 3765528. A replay of the call will be available from 2:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 31, 2014 through September 30, 2014, at 1-888-203-1112 or 1-719-457-0820, ID# 3765528. The call, which will be hosted by President and Chief Executive Officer Martin A. Kropelnicki and Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Thomas F. Smegal, will also be webcast under the investor relations tab at

California Water Service Group is the parent company of California Water Service Company, Washington Water Service Company, New Mexico Water Service Company, Hawaii Water Service Company, Inc., CWS Utility Services, and HWS Utility Services. Together these companies provide regulated and non-regulated water service to approximately 2 million people in more than 100 California, Washington, New Mexico, and Hawaii communities. Group's common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "CWT." Additional information is available at our web site at

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("Act"). The forward-looking statements are intended to qualify under provisions of the federal securities laws for "safe harbor" treatment established by the Act. Forward-looking statements are based on currently available information, expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections, and management's judgment about the Company, the water utility industry and general economic conditions. Such words as would, expects, intends, plans, believes, estimates, assumes, anticipates, projects, predicts, forecasts or variations of such words or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. They are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may vary materially from what is contained in a forward-looking statement. Factors that may cause a result different than expected or anticipated include, but are not limited to: governmental and regulatory commissions' decisions; changes in regulatory commissions' policies and procedures; the timeliness of regulatory commissions' actions concerning rate relief; changes in the capital markets and access to sufficient capital on satisfactory terms; new legislation; changes in California Department of Public Health water quality standards; changes in environmental compliance and water quality requirements; changes in accounting valuations and estimates; changes in accounting treatment for regulated companies, including adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards, if required; electric power interruptions; increases in suppliers' prices and the availability of supplies including water and power; fluctuations in interest rates; litigation that may result in damages or costs not recoverable from third parties; acquisitions and our ability to successfully integrate acquired companies; the ability to successfully implement business plans; civil disturbances or terrorist threats or acts, or apprehension about the possible future occurrences of acts of this type; the involvement of the United States in war or other hostilities; our ability to attract and retain qualified employees; labor relations matters as we negotiate with the unions; federal health care law changes that could result in increases to Company health care costs and additional income tax expenses in future years; changes in federal and state income tax regulations and treatment of such by regulatory commissions; implementation of new information technology systems; changes in operations that result in an impairment to acquisition goodwill; restrictive covenants in or changes to the credit ratings on current or future debt that could increase financing costs or affect the ability to borrow, make payments on debt, or pay dividends; general economic conditions, including changes in customer growth patterns and our ability to collect billed revenue from customers; changes in customer water use patterns and the effects of conservation; the impact of weather and climate on water availability, water sales and operating results; the ability to satisfy requirements related to the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Acts and other regulations on internal controls; and, other risks and unforeseen events. When considering forward-looking statements, you should keep in mind the cautionary statements included in this paragraph, as well as the annual 10-K, Quarterly 10-Q, and other reports filed from time-to-time with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Company assumes no obligation to provide public updates of forward-looking statements.

(In thousands, except per share data) June 30, December 31,
2014 2013
Utility plant:
Utility plant $ 2,269,779 $ 2,213,328
Less accumulated depreciation and amortization (730,266 ) (697,497 )
Net utility plant 1,539,513 1,515,831
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents 29,706 27,506
Customers 34,278 31,468
Regulatory balancing accounts 26,978 30,887
Other 13,825 18,700
Unbilled revenue 28,055 17,034
Materials and supplies at weighted average cost 5,952 5,571
Taxes, prepaid expenses and other assets 12,014 8,324
Total current assets 150,808 139,490
Other assets:
Regulatory assets 264,245 251,681
Goodwill 2,615 2,615
Other assets 53,003 50,238
Total other assets 319,863 304,534
$ 2,010,184 $ 1,959,855
Common stock, $.01 par value $ 478 $ 477
Additional paid-in capital 329,332 328,364
Retained earnings 266,082 269,915
Total common stockholders' equity 595,892 598,756
Long-term debt, less current maturities 423,334 426,142
Total capitalization 1,019,226 1,024,898
Current liabilities:
Current maturities of long-term debt 6,550 7,908
Short-term borrowings 81,215 46,815
Accounts payable 70,906 55,087
Regulatory balancing accounts 6,603 1,827
Accrued interest 4,240 4,245
Accrued expenses and other liabilities 52,560 50,702
Total current liabilities 222,074 166,584
Unamortized investment tax credits 2,106 2,106
Deferred income taxes, net 180,956 183,245
Pension and postretirement benefits other than pensions 145,426 145,451
Regulatory and other liabilities 90,134 86,455
Advances for construction 181,443 183,393
Contributions in aid of construction 168,819 167,723
$ 2,010,184 $ 1,959,855
(In thousands, except per share data)
For the Three-Months ended:
June 30, June 30,
2014 2013
Operating revenue $ 158,416 $ 154,555
Operating expenses:
Water production costs 61,915 59,645
Administrative and general 23,796 23,155
Other operations 16,004 17,030
Maintenance 4,988 4,188
Depreciation and amortization 16,087 14,491
Income taxes 7,190 9,548
Property and other taxes 5,144 5,715
Total operating expenses 135,124 133,772
Net operating income 23,292 20,783
Other income and expenses:
Non-regulated revenue 3,474 3,215
Non-regulated expenses, net (2,253 ) (3,240 )
Income tax (expense) benefit on other income and expense (481 ) 16
Net other income (loss) 740 (9 )
Interest expense:
Interest expense 7,077 7,803
Less: capitalized interest (215 ) (539 )
Net interest expense 6,862 7,264
Net income $ 17,170 $ 13,510
Earnings per share
Basic $ 0.36 $ 0.28
Diluted $ 0.36 $ 0.28
Weighted average shares outstanding
Basic 47,804 47,729
Diluted 47,837 47,760
Dividends declared per share of common stock $ 0.1625 $ 0.1600
(In thousands, except per share data)
For the Six-Months ended:
June 30, June 30,
2014 2013
Operating revenue $ 268,931 $ 265,999
Operating expenses:
Water production costs 107,317 101,342
Administrative and general 48,937 48,436
Other operations 32,380 32,675
Maintenance 9,993 8,321
Depreciation and amortization 32,140 29,120
Income taxes 3,351 8,402
Property and other taxes 10,369 11,150
Total operating expenses 244,487 239,446
Net operating income 24,444 26,553
Other income and expenses:
Non-regulated revenue 7,754 6,737
Non-regulated expenses, net (6,372 ) (5,657 )
Income tax (expense) on other income and expense (560 ) (435 )
Net other income 822 645
Interest expense:
Interest expense 14,152 15,840
Less: capitalized interest (580 ) (1,079 )
Net interest expense 13,572 14,761
Net income $ 11,694 $ 12,437
Earnings per share
Basic $ 0.24 $ 0.28
Diluted $ 0.24 $ 0.28
Weighted average shares outstanding
Basic 47,780 45,004
Diluted 47,818 45,034
Dividends declared per share of common stock $ 0.3250 $ 0.3200