Aqua America, meanwhile, recently entered the septic-treatment and -hauling sector, an area that now accounts for about 10 percent of its revenue. CFO David Smeltzer says he is keeping his eyes open for related activities as well, in case the opportunities to make a profit by investing in existing infrastructure dry up. “Long term, there may be a point when capital expenditure starts to swing, and we may need to look at other areas of business outside regulated utility,” he says.
But Standard & Poor’s equity analyst Stewart Scharf thinks that water companies need to stick to their knitting, for the most part. “Whatever systems or related businesses they have that aren’t regulated are an additional opportunity,” he says, “but the core business is the regulated side.” — A.N.S.
|Water, Water, Everywhere
Top publicly traded water companies in the United States, by revenue
|Name||Regulated Reach||Revenue (2005)*|
|American Water (owned by Germany-based RWE)||18 million residents in 29 states||$2.2 billion|
|United Water (owned by France-based Suez)||2 million residents in 8 states||$495 million|
|Aqua America||2.8 million residents in 13 states||$497 million|
|California Water Service Group||2 million residents in 4 states||$321 million|
|American States Water||267,000 residents in CA, AZ||$240 million|
|SJW||1 million–plus residents in CA, TX||$180 million|
|Middlesex Water||58,500 residents in NJ||$74 million|
|Connecticut Water Service||275,000 residents in CT||$51 million|
|Artesian Water||234,000 residents in DE||$45 million|
|York Water||165,000 residents in PA||$26.8 million|
|* Includes nonregulated revenue|