American States Water Co. (NYSE:AWR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “American States Water Company’s major drawback is its dependence on a single state, California, for the majority of its earnings. Plus its highly regulated operations, ongoing drought conditions in the state and risk of water contamination leading to increase in operating costs could adversely impact results. Due to the aforesaid headwinds annual estimates have been going down ahead of the company’s Q3 earnings release. The strength of the company lies in an expanding customer base, extensive water rights and strong credit ratings. The company is yet to expand its customer base as aggressively as some of its peers, who are resorting to inorganic means. This California focused water utility has the opportunity to spread operations via acquisitions.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Janney Montgomery Scott raised American States Water from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $35.00 to $39.00 in a research note on Friday, August 5th. Barclays PLC dropped their price target on American States Water from $44.00 to $39.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, September 6th.

American States Water (NYSE:AWR) traded down 1.99% on Tuesday, reaching $38.90. 48,806 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.18 and a beta of 0.35. American States Water has a 52-week low of $37.28 and a 52-week high of $47.24. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $39.82 and a 200 day moving average price of $40.75.

American States Water (NYSE:AWR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $111.95 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $113.01 million. American States Water had a return on equity of 12.76% and a net margin of 13.28%. American States Water’s revenue was down 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.41 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that American States Water will post $1.63 EPS for the current year.

In other American States Water news, Director Diana M. Bonta sold 980 shares of American States Water stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.62, for a total transaction of $38,827.60. Following the transaction, the director now owns 23,972 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $949,770.64. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Anne M. Holloway sold 986 shares of American States Water stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.01, for a total value of $39,449.86. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 41,583 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,663,735.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.43% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AWR. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in American States Water by 77.0% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,511 shares of the company’s stock valued at $110,000 after buying an additional 1,092 shares during the period. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC purchased a new stake in shares of American States Water during the second quarter valued at about $114,000. Advisor Group Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of American States Water during the second quarter valued at about $152,000. PineBridge Investments L.P. raised its stake in shares of American States Water by 3.9% in the second quarter. PineBridge Investments L.P. now owns 4,636 shares of the company’s stock valued at $204,000 after buying an additional 174 shares in the last quarter. Finally, GW Henssler & Associates Ltd. purchased a new stake in shares of American States Water during the second quarter valued at about $206,000. 63.65% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About American States Water

American States Water Company (AWR) is a holding company. The Company is the parent company of Golden State Water Company (GSWC) and American States Utility Services, Inc (ASUS), as well as various subsidiaries of ASUS. The Company’s segments include water, electric and contracted services. Within the segments, AWR has two principal business units, water and electric service utility operations, conducted through GSWC, and contracted services conducted through ASUS and its subsidiaries.

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