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Aqua America, Inc. (WTR)

From The Complete Investor: “Aqua America, Inc. (WTR), a regulated water and wastewater utility serving approximately three million people in...

Aqua America, Inc. (WTR), a regulated water and wastewater utility serving approximately three million people in 14 states, was hands down Income Portfolio’s best-performing utility in 2010, with total returns topping 32%. Its share price has continued to move higher so far in 2011, reflecting not only an improving operational environment but also the utility’s above-average growth, with earnings rising and margins improving. The utility’s long-term strategy of growing aggressively through acquisitions also helped win over investors: during the last 10 years, Aqua America participated in about 200 acquisitions and growth ventures, resulting in average annual customer growth of 5.7% vs. around 1% a year for most utilities. While Aqua America’s P/E is higher than that of most utilities, and despite its below-average yield, we still think the utility is attractively priced, with its higher valuation reflecting its higher growth. And given its near-monopoly status within its markets, the utility should easily maintain above-average growth for some time to come.”

Stephen Leeb, PhD., The Complete Investor, February 2011

As Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Leeb Capital Management, a registered investment advisor, Dr. Stephen Leeb has been managing big cap growth portfolios since 1999. Over the last decade, his independently-verified performance record has been ranked in the top 5% among peers according to Informa’s PSN manager database. Dr. Leeb is also founder of the Leeb Group, which publishes financial newsletters including The Complete Investor, Leeb’s Income Performance Letter, Leeb’s Real World Investing e-letter, Leeb’s Aggressive Trader, Leeb’s Million Dollar Portfolio and Leeb’s ETF World Alert e-letter. His total readership exceeds 250,000. Dr. Leeb earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. He then completed both a Master’s degree in Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Illinois.