Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of American States Water (NYSE:AWR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of American States Water have outperformed the industry in the last 12 months.  The company’s strength lies in an expanding customer base, extensive water rights and strong credit ratings. Further, it makes systematic investments to strengthen the existing infrastructure. In addition, new water rates will help boost its margins. American States Water’s main drawback is its heavy dependence on a single state, California, for majority of its earnings. Plus, the company’s highly-regulated operations and risk of water contamination leading to an increase in operating costs could adversely impact its results. “

Separately, Wells Fargo & Co downgraded American States Water from a market perform rating to an underperform rating and set a $48.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Monday, December 18th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $50.67.

American States Water (NYSE AWR) traded down $0.38 on Monday, hitting $54.84. The stock had a trading volume of 153,295 shares, compared to its average volume of 202,128. The company has a market cap of $2,010.00, a P/E ratio of 29.97, a PEG ratio of 7.78 and a beta of 0.48. American States Water has a 52 week low of $41.14 and a 52 week high of $58.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a current ratio of 0.97.

American States Water (NYSE:AWR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, November 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.58 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $124.40 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $145.78 million. American States Water had a return on equity of 13.34% and a net margin of 15.28%. The business’s revenue was up .5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.59 EPS. research analysts predict that American States Water will post 1.72 EPS for the current year.

In related news, insider Denise L. Kruger sold 1,250 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.88, for a total transaction of $67,350.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 8,216 shares in the company, valued at approximately $442,678.08. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Diana M. Bonta sold 1,675 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.42, for a total value of $96,178.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 5,025 shares of company stock valued at $279,898. 1.49% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in American States Water by 2.0% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,768,089 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $178,644,000 after purchasing an additional 74,002 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in American States Water by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,349,948 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $64,001,000 after purchasing an additional 30,991 shares during the period. State Street Corp lifted its position in shares of American States Water by 4.2% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 990,335 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $46,948,000 after acquiring an additional 39,563 shares during the period. Copeland Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of American States Water by 1.6% in the 3rd quarter. Copeland Capital Management LLC now owns 418,555 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $20,614,000 after acquiring an additional 6,416 shares during the period. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of American States Water by 5.3% in the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 334,952 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $15,880,000 after acquiring an additional 16,830 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.98% of the company’s stock.

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American States Water Company Profile

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 ASUS’ subsidiaries, such as Fort Bliss Water Services Company (FBWS), Terrapin Utility Services, Inc (TUS), Old Dominion Utility Services, Inc (ODUS), Palmetto State Utility Services, Inc (PSUS) and Old North Utility Services, Inc (ONUS).

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