American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE:AWK) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 21, 2018 • 09:00 am ET


American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE:AWK) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Walter Lynch

target by 2022. Let me give you two examples of the many initiatives we have at American Water to improve operating efficiency.

We have a highly trained asset reliability team that conducts assessments at critical facilities across our footprint. Using specialized instruments these teams predict and correct minor issues preventing major issues from occurring. Just last year further assessments they identified and corrected about 200 minor issues resulting in 400,000 hours of repair cost.

In New Jersey our operations team is using the acoustic monitoring to find and fix leaks before they lead to main brakes. This water saving technology uses sound ways to locate leaks and as already provided savings up to 1.9 million in the first two year and an estimated 1.7 million of water per day. Remember every dollar we save in expenses we can invest $8 in capital with no impact to customer builds that would drive our commitment to our O&M target.

Additionally, we reinforced our operational efficiency efforts by also focusing on capital efficiency leveraging technology and using our scale and size to achieve savings for a supply chain. We understand that driving capital efficiency allows us to do more with the same amount of money.

In summary, it was a great year of growth, smart investments and engaged employees driving efficiencies and quality results also benefited our customers.

With that I'll now turn the call back over to Susan.

Susan Story

Thank you, Walter. Before I turn the call over for questions, I do want to speak just a couple of minutes about the administrations, infrastructure proposals which was recently released. We're encouraged that the administration in congress are working to address the pressing need to upgrade our nation's infrastructure including the systems that provide critical water and waste water services.

Companies like American Water play an important role working together with the public sector as the needs are too good for anyone sector to tackle along. We are very pleased that the proposals seeks to level the playing field for private and public providers of these critical services.

There are several positive proposals in the plan including the removal of caps on tax exempt private activity bonds as well as making clean water state revolving fund loans available to private waste water utilities. The plan encourages partnerships between private and public providers with incentives for smarter ways of investing in critical upgrades and while this infrastructure plan's just a proposal the fact is that the tax cuts and job reform act is actually in infrastructure package for us.

It doesn't change our strategy or operating plans but we will be able to invest more with less impact to our billed and that's the good news for our customers and our regulators. American Water looks forward to continuing to be part of the infrastructure conversations and working with the administration congress as they address the nation's infrastructure challenges.

With that we're happy to take your questions.