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American States Water Q4 profits miss Street views on impairment charge

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American States Water Co (ASW)(NYSE:AWR) saw its fourth quarter profits miss analysts' estimates on Monday, as the company was hit with a $7.6 million charge related to the impairment of assets and loss contingencies resulting from regulatory matters, it said.

For the three months ended December 31, the water company posted net income of $6.7 million, or $0.35 per share, down 36 percent from $9.1 million, or $0.48 per share, a year ago.

Adjusted for the $0.23 per share impairment charge, and other one-time items, earnings rose to 40.35 per share, from $0.31 per share, a year ago.

Revenues during the quarter fell eight percent to $95.2 million, from $103.7 million in the same period last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected $0.40 per share in fourth-quarter profits, on $104.35 million in revenues.

ASW said much of its rise in earnings is attributed to the California Public Utilities Commission's November 2010 rate increase approval, which became effective in January 2011.

Earnings from the company's water business, which is supported through ASW's subsidiary, Golden State Water Company, which supplies water to about one of every 36 people in California. Total water earnings, however, fell 31 percent to $0.22 per share, reflecting a higher effective tax rate, ASW said.

Its electric segment doubled to about $0.03 per share, as the company increased rates and lowered operating expenses.

Earnings from ASW's American States Utility Services, which comprises the company's contracted services segment, rose to $0.06, from a $0.04 per share loss a year ago, due to higher construction activities for certain water and wastewater projects at Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Lee in Virginia.

For the full year fiscal 2011, the company posted a 38 percent rise in earnings, to $45.9 million, or $2.43 per share. Revenues for the year rose five percent to $419.3 million.

In New York, shares of the San Dimas, California-based company fell 1.28 percent to $36.99, as of 12:45 pm EDT.

Quick facts: American States Water

Price: 75.16 USD

NYSE:AWR
Market: NYSE
Market Cap: $2.77 billion
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