American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE:AWK) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
May 03, 2018 • 09:00 am ET
Susan N. Story
top of our long-term EPS CAGR of 7% to 10%.
We believe that long-term financial success depends on effectively executing the fundamentals of our business every day. These fundamentals include; engaging our employees to fully provide excellent service to our customers, building constructive and transparent regulatory relationships, growing our business and becoming even more efficient in our operations to ensure affordability and value for our customers.
The foundation for our earnings growth continues to be the capital investment we make in our regulated operation to provide clean, safe and reliable service to our customers. We invested $343 million this quarter, with $302 million of that for our regulated infrastructure.
We minimized the customer bill impacts of these investments through a continued focus on controlling O&M costs, optimizing capital spend through both value engineering and volume procurement and through constructive regulatory mechanisms.
Our regulated business closed several acquisitions during the quarter for a total of 3,700 new customer connections. We also added about 1,500 more customers through organic growth in our footprint.
We have an additional 47,000 customer connections under agreement, including the recently announced Alton wastewater system. This one agreement will add 23,000 new wastewater customers in Illinois. We have served water in this great city for over 140 years, and our employees live, work and play there. So, this acquisition is very special to us. Walter will discuss this as well as our strong pipeline of potential regulated acquisitions in a few minutes.
Earnings were also up in our Market-Based Businesses. This was due in large part to an increase in results from our Homeowner Services organization, where we saw growth in customer contracts along with benefits from cost management efforts. As you're also aware, we recently announced our agreement to acquire Pivotal Home Solutions, which will nearly double our home warranty business.
Pivotal is highly complementary to our Homeowner Services Group. We have been in this business for 16 years, and we're excited to welcome the great many women of Pivotal to the American Water family upon close of the transaction, which we expect in the second quarter.
With this strong start to 2018 and our continued execution of strategies, we are affirming today our 2018 guidance of $3.22 to $3.32 per share. As we shared with you last month, given the Pivotal acquisition and the effects of tax reform, we expect our long-term growth to be in the top half of our 7% to 10% target EPS CAGR.
American Water will invest $8 billion to $8.6 billion over the next five years, excluding Pivotal, with more than $7.2 billion spent to improve our existing infrastructure. Under this plan and normal operating conditions, no new equity is needed. We see line of sight to our 32% target O&M efficiency ratio by 2022. And we affirm our earlier guidance of dividend growth at the high end of our 7% to 10% EPS CAGR also through 2022.
Walter will now give you his update on our regulated business.
Walter J. Lynch