BRYN MAWR, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE: WTR) Chairman and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis rang the closing bell today at the New York Stock Exchange signifying the end of the day’s trading and marking Aqua’s 40th year on the NYSE and the company’s 125th anniversary.
“It is an honor to commemorate Aqua’s 40-year NYSE anniversary as well as our 125th year of operations by ringing the closing bell today,” said DeBenedictis. “Historically, many prominent leaders of economically and culturally relevant companies ring the bell, and I am humbled to continue to be among this elite group.”
Established in 1886 by Swarthmore, Pa. college professors concerned about local water quality, 125 years later, Aqua America is still an innovation leader and is now one of the largest U.S.-based, publicly-traded water utilities, delivering clean water to more than three million people in 13 states.
Through its robust and innovative capital program, Aqua is investing in our country’s aged and deteriorating water infrastructure, which the 2009 American Society of Civil Engineers’ national annual report card gave a D-minus. Over the last five years, Aqua has invested $1.4 billion to replace aging water mains and treatment facilities and plans to invest more than $300 million in 2011 to improve our nation’s water infrastructure. In 2010 alone, Aqua replaced 180 miles of main with a focused effort to restore its distribution network, which enhanced water quality and service reliability for its customers and provided economic and job growth in the areas where the company operates.
“Aqua has grown to become a leader in providing people with life’s most valuable necessity – quality drinking water – because of our unwavering commitment to excellence and service combined with a sound investment strategy for 125 years,” said DeBenedictis.
2011 also marks DeBenedictis’ 20th year leading Aqua America. Since DeBenedictis, a former Pennsylvania secretary of environmental resources and Environmental Protection Agency official, joined the company, Aqua has:
- completed more than 250 acquisitions and growth ventures since embarking on its growth-through-acquisition strategy
- more than quadrupled its customer base from 236,000 in 1991 to 962,000 in 2010
- increased its market cap from $125 million in 1991 to $3 billion in 2010
- increased its total stockholder return by 900 percent since 1991
- increased its dividend more than 200 percent (20 increases over last 19 years).
Last year, 2010, was a record year of revenue and net income, and it was Aqua America’s 11th consecutive year of net income growth. Aqua’s success continues in 2011 as it reported record first quarter earnings last month.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Actof 1995, including, among others, the amount of future capital investments by the company, and the company’s expectation to lower its cost of debt in 2011. There are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements including: general economic business conditions; housing and customer growth trends; unfavorable weather conditions; the success of certain cost containment initiatives; the extent to which rate increase requests are granted and the timing of rate awards; changes in regulations or regulatory treatment; availability and the cost of capital; disruptions in the credit markets; the success of growth initiatives; and other factors discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010, which is on file with the SEC. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement.