The Prudent Investor


Another Look At California Water Service Group
January 29, 2007, 10:36 am
Filed under: Water Utilities

California Water Service Group’s website can be found at www.calwatergroup.com. As a Webmaster, I can tell you (although this is simply common sense) that a company places the item they feel is most important for you to know above the fold on the home page. The largest text on this page states, “California Water Service Group has paid a dividend every year since 1945, steadily increasing dividend payments every year since 1967.” Indeed, that is impressive and comforting. Additionally comforting is the fact that they have a direct link on their home page to their dividend reinvestment program (DRiP). If you are unclear as to what this is, then I will simply state that this allows for the purchase of partial shares, and allows for dividends to be reinvested as shares, for little or no cost. I have not looked at the details of their DRiP, but at this point I am going to make the assumption that it is fee-free. If you wish to learn about DRiPs then I would encourage you to go to DRiPInvesting.org, where you will find not only more information than you can digest, but also a community willing to help you along. DRiPs are common with utility stocks in general, and if the selected company offers a DRiP then that will be the preferred method of purchase.

It is easy to find their 10-Q filing, and it is available as a Word document, Excel document (although the management’s discussion is missing within this form, and that is an essential element), and PDF. I personally do not like PDF because it is not very friendly when reading on the screen (its strength is its ability to print). The important thing here is that the information is accessible.

Email alerts are available as a means of keeping current with changing information about the company. This is a nice touch and very helpful, as I do not want to have to look for news of the company on a regular basis. The ability to remain informed is important, and whatever the company can do to help me in this regard is certainly a feather in their cap.

I listened to their latest (November) conference call and a few things were gleamed from it that may not be obvious. They were quite proud of their response during the earthquake in Hawaii, which is something to note. Companies doing the right thing at critical times mitigate litigation that may come against them, and fosters good will amongst their constituents. Also, they noted the probability (which came to pass) that the Governor of California would be reelected, and explained why this would be a fortunate circumstance for them.

During this pass I found nothing negative with California Water Service Group and they remain a strong contender for consideration.

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1 Comment so far
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enjoy reading your reports on these water companies and will be interested to see your top selection,a wtr owner/dripper but could always start a new investment.

Comment by scott




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