Bank of America Corp. upgraded shares of American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report released on Wednesday morning. The brokerage currently has $84.00 target price on the stock, up from their previous target price of $77.00.

Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Vetr upgraded shares of American Water Works from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $90.33 target price on the stock in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Barclays PLC decreased their price target on shares of American Water Works from $87.00 to $81.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 6th. Finally, Robert W. Baird initiated coverage on shares of American Water Works in a research report on Friday, October 14th. They set an outperform rating and a $82.00 price target for the company. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $80.33.

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) opened at 71.17 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $12.67 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.38 and a beta of 0.23. American Water Works has a 12-month low of $55.77 and a 12-month high of $85.24. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $72.58 and its 200 day moving average price is $76.09.

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $1.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.04. American Water Works had a net margin of 14.19% and a return on equity of 9.85%. The company had revenue of $930 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $944.98 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.96 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that American Water Works will post $2.84 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 9th will be given a dividend of $0.375 per share. This represents a $1.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.10%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 7th. American Water Works’s dividend payout ratio is presently 57.47%.

In other news, SVP Mark F. Strauss sold 15,467 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.08, for a total transaction of $1,176,729.36. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, COO Walter Lynch sold 6,514 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.43, for a total transaction of $497,865.02. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 91,389 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,984,861.27. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of AWK. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of American Water Works by 0.4% in the second quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 2,310 shares of the company’s stock worth $195,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the last quarter. Cognios Capital LLC boosted its stake in shares of American Water Works by 0.3% in the second quarter. Cognios Capital LLC now owns 3,650 shares of the company’s stock worth $308,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the last quarter. Washington Trust Bank boosted its stake in shares of American Water Works by 1.0% in the third quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 2,093 shares of the company’s stock worth $157,000 after buying an additional 21 shares during the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of American Water Works by 0.7% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 3,323 shares of the company’s stock worth $281,000 after buying an additional 24 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Johnson Investment Counsel Inc. boosted its stake in shares of American Water Works by 0.5% in the second quarter. Johnson Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 6,012 shares of the company’s stock worth $508,000 after buying an additional 27 shares during the last quarter. 81.26% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

American Water Works Company Profile

American Water Works Company, Inc is a holding company. The Company is a water and wastewater utility company. The Company operates through two segments: the Regulated Businesses and the Market-Based Businesses. Its Regulated Businesses segment involves the ownership of subsidiaries that provide water and wastewater utility services to residential, commercial, industrial and other customers, including sale for resale and public authority customers.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:AWK

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