Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of California Water Service Group Holding (NYSE:CWT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “California Water Service Company’s business, which is carried on through its operating subsidiaries, consists of the production, purchase, storage, purification, distribution and sale of water for domestic, industrial, public and irrigation uses, and for fire protection. It also provides water related services under agreements with municipalities and other private companies. The nonregulated services include full water system operation, and billing and meter reading services. “

Several other brokerages also recently issued reports on CWT. BidaskClub downgraded California Water Service Group Holding from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Barclays PLC increased their target price on California Water Service Group Holding from $30.00 to $32.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. Finally, Robert W. Baird reiterated a hold rating and set a $35.00 target price on shares of California Water Service Group Holding in a research report on Sunday, September 3rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and seven have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $36.75.

Shares of California Water Service Group Holding (CWT) opened at $44.10 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.76, a current ratio of 0.47 and a quick ratio of 0.46. California Water Service Group Holding has a 12-month low of $32.45 and a 12-month high of $44.30. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,117.47, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.06, a PEG ratio of 6.04 and a beta of 0.72.

California Water Service Group Holding (NYSE:CWT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.02. California Water Service Group Holding had a return on equity of 10.31% and a net margin of 10.46%. The business had revenue of $211.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $203.00 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.48 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 14.9% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that California Water Service Group Holding will post 1.33 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 17th. Investors of record on Monday, November 6th were given a dividend of $0.18 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 3rd. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.63%. California Water Service Group Holding’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 50.70%.

In related news, VP Lynne P. Mcghee sold 1,079 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.94, for a total transaction of $39,858.26. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 18,581 shares in the company, valued at $686,382.14. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Lynne P. Mcghee sold 1,605 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.61, for a total value of $60,364.05. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 19,660 shares in the company, valued at $739,412.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.97% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CWT. Independent Advisor Alliance increased its stake in California Water Service Group Holding by 13.4% during the third quarter. Independent Advisor Alliance now owns 17,346 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $710,000 after acquiring an additional 2,049 shares during the last quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in California Water Service Group Holding by 250.9% during the third quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC now owns 36,391 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,388,000 after acquiring an additional 26,019 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its stake in California Water Service Group Holding by 4.6% during the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 112,668 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,298,000 after acquiring an additional 4,986 shares during the last quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd increased its stake in California Water Service Group Holding by 4.5% during the third quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd now owns 35,044 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,337,000 after acquiring an additional 1,500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in California Water Service Group Holding by 0.4% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,625,445 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $62,011,000 after acquiring an additional 6,427 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 68.54% of the company’s stock.

California Water Service Group Holding Company Profile

California Water Service Group is a holding company. The Company operates through the supply and distribution of water and providing water-related utility services segment. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides non-regulated services and non-regulated services to private companies and municipalities.

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Analyst Recommendations for California Water  Service Group Holding (NYSE:CWT)

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