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On December 1st, 2008 the quarterly common stock dividend for WTR will be raised by 8% to $0.135 per share ($0.54 per share annualized). This is the eighteenth dividend increase in the last 17 years for Aqua America.

From the Letter to Shareholders:
"Operating revenues were flat this quarter at $150.8 million compared to $150.6 million in the second quarter of last year due in part to unfavorable weather and economic conditions, as well as the dispositions of systems in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Henrico, Virginia in prior quarters which reduced revenues.

Net income in the second quarter was $22.6 million compared to $23.7 million in the same period of 2007.

Aqua America reported fully diluted earnings per share of $0.17 this quarter compared to $0.18 in the same quarter of the prior year."
[end quote]

The best news is they raised the dividend.

The good news is they're still paying the dividend.

The bad news is revenues didn't go up this time around.

This sure ain't the earnings I'd hoped for, but considering the current economic conditions I expect we'll be seeing a lot of dividend reports like this one in years to come.

I don't know 'bout y'all, but I intend to hold on to my dividend paying US utilities. They provide things (water, gas, electricity) people can't get along without very well and politicians won't want their unwashed constituents freezing in the dark come election time.

Overall, in general, I expect the dividends of US utilities, as a group, to stagnate over the next few years and maybe even go down a bit in some cases. Nevertheless I plan to hold on to my utility stocks as I suspect other (non utility) stocks will be even less safe.
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