BRYN MAWR, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Board of Directors of Aqua America (NYSE: WTR) declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.178 per share today, payable on September 1, 2015 to all shareholders of record on August 14, 2015.
The September 1, 2015 dividend will represent a $0.013, or 7.9 percent increase compared to the $0.165 cash dividend the company paid in June of this year. Aqua America has paid a quarterly cash dividend for 70 consecutive years, and this increase marks the 25th dividend increase in the past 24 years. At the new rate, the annualized dividend is now $0.712 per share. Over the past 10 years, the company’s annualized dividend has increased at a 7.6 percent annual growth rate.
“The Board’s decision to increase the dividend is a testament to Aqua’s commitment to deliver strong, consistent financial results and enhancing shareholder value,” said Aqua America’s President and CEO Chris Franklin. “Our long history of rewarding shareholders by increasing dividends is something in which we take great pride. As we continue our effort to return an appropriate amount of capital to our investors while investing in the company’s growth, we are targeting a long-term dividend payout ratio range of 60 to 70 percent of earnings. We believe this will allow the company to achieve both goals moving forward.”
Aqua America is one of the largest U.S.-based, publicly traded water utilities and serves nearly 3 million people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia. Aqua America is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WTR. Visit AquaAmerica.com for more information.
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, among others: the projected annualized dividend rate; the company’s ability to deliver strong results and enhance shareholder value; the company’s ability to return capital to investors; and the potential rate of the company’s growth. There are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and other key factors that we have indicated could adversely affect our business and financial performance discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Aqua America is not under any obligation — and expressly disclaims any such obligation — to update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.