Aqua America Inc. (WTR) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
Aqua America Inc. (NYSE:WTR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.
According to Zacks, “Aqua America’s extensive network of water and wastewater systems, continuous investments in regulated assets will help it to provide high quality and reliable water services to its expanding customer base. The company is also gaining from constructive rate decisions in different states it operates. The company pushes forward on its inorganic growth strategy to increase its customer base and expand service territories. However, Aqua America Inc. runs an inherent risk of contamination of water sources, which could raise its operating costs and fluctuating weather conditions can lower the demand for water. In addition, securing essential funds for growth projects at a favorable rate could pose challenges for this capital intensive utility. “
Several other analysts have also recently weighed in on WTR. Barclays PLC lowered their price objective on shares of Aqua America from $38.00 to $34.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, September 6th. Hilliard Lyons restated an “underperform” rating and set a $27.00 price objective on shares of Aqua America in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $32.71.
Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) opened at 30.89 on Wednesday. Aqua America has a 52-week low of $26.23 and a 52-week high of $35.83. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $31.07 and its 200-day moving average is $32.43. The company has a market cap of $5.48 billion, a PE ratio of 26.40 and a beta of 0.42.
Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.33 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.33. The firm had revenue of $203.88 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $209.61 million. Aqua America had a net margin of 25.44% and a return on equity of 13.05%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.32 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Aqua America will post $1.33 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, August 18th were given a $0.1913 dividend. This represents a $0.77 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.48%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 16th. This is a boost from Aqua America’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.18. Aqua America’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 66.38%.
In related news, Director Richard H. Glanton sold 4,650 shares of Aqua America stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.20, for a total value of $145,080.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 4,583 shares in the company, valued at approximately $142,989.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 0.33% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WTR. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. boosted its position in Aqua America by 0.5% in the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 3,327 shares of the company’s stock worth $119,000 after buying an additional 17 shares during the last quarter. Whittier Trust Co. boosted its position in Aqua America by 3.1% in the second quarter. Whittier Trust Co. now owns 3,952 shares of the company’s stock worth $141,000 after buying an additional 120 shares during the last quarter. Arcadia Investment Management Corp MI boosted its position in Aqua America by 5.1% in the second quarter. Arcadia Investment Management Corp MI now owns 4,150 shares of the company’s stock worth $148,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Tuttle Tactical Management LLC boosted its position in Aqua America by 0.5% in the second quarter. Tuttle Tactical Management LLC now owns 5,736 shares of the company’s stock worth $197,000 after buying an additional 31 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Hawaii purchased a new position in Aqua America during the second quarter worth about $205,000. Institutional investors own 47.76% of the company’s stock.
Aqua America Company Profile
Aqua America, Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides water or wastewater services in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia, among others. It is the holding company for its subsidiary, Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc Its market-based activities are conducted through Aqua Resources Inc and Aqua Infrastructure, LLC.
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