American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “American Water Works’ is benefiting from its consistent investments in regulated operations and contribution from the acquired assets. The company’s inorganic growth strategy has been of great help, enabling it to add 10,700 customers to the existing base year to date. We believe consolidation is the need of the hour in the fragmented U.S. water utility space. A favorable rate hike decision is also helping the company to execute infrastructural development activities and pay regular dividends to shareholders. The company continues to improve its water and wastewater systems, which allows it to provide efficient services to its expanding customer base. However, stringent regulations, fluctuating weather patterns and risk of accidents due to old and soiled pipelines are persistent headwinds.”

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Vetr upgraded American Water Works from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $79.67 price objective for the company in a research note on Thursday, November 10th. Bank of America Corp. upgraded American Water Works from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $77.00 to $84.00 in a research note on Wednesday, November 9th. Barclays PLC cut their price target on American Water Works from $87.00 to $81.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, September 6th. Finally, Robert W. Baird began coverage on American Water Works in a research note on Friday, October 14th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $82.00 price target for the company. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $80.33.

Analyst Recommendations for American Water Works (NYSE:AWK)

Shares of American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) opened at 71.95 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $12.81 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.68 and a beta of 0.23. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $72.16 and a 200 day moving average price of $76.10. American Water Works has a 1-year low of $56.40 and a 1-year high of $85.24.

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $1.05 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.04. The business earned $930 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $944.98 million. American Water Works had a return on equity of 9.85% and a net margin of 14.19%. The company’s revenue was up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.96 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that American Water Works will post $2.84 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 9th will be paid a dividend of $0.375 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 7th. This represents a $1.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.08%. American Water Works’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 57.47%.

In other American Water Works news, COO Walter Lynch sold 6,514 shares of the business’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 completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 91,389 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,984,861.27. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Company insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Arrow Financial Corp bought a new position in shares of American Water Works during the third quarter valued at $113,000. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. boosted its position in shares of American Water Works by 488.3% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 1,612 shares of the company’s stock valued at $136,000 after buying an additional 1,338 shares in the last quarter. Washington Trust Bank boosted its position 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 valued at $157,000 after buying an additional 21 shares in the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position 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 valued at $195,000 after buying an additional 10 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Tower Research Capital LLC TRC bought a new position in shares of American Water Works during the second quarter valued at $197,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.26% of the company’s stock.

About American Water Works

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.

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