Several brokerages have updated their recommendations and price targets on shares of Waters (NYSE: WAT) in the last few weeks:

  • 1/7/2019 – Waters was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Waters’ top-line growth continues to be driven by strong momentum in the Governmental & Academic market. Further, the company’s position in China and the Americas continues to improve, which is acting as a tailwind. Moreover, the growth in the U.S. pharma market is a big positive. Waters remains optimistic about its strengthening growth initiatives which are likely to help it in gaining investors’ confidence in the near term as well as long haul. Notably, shares of Waters have outperformed the industry it belongs to on a year-to-date basis. However, the sluggish performance of TA instruments remains an overhang. Further, weak European pharma market is a concern for the company’s business growth. Also, unfavorable foreign exchange fluctuations are headwinds.”
  • 1/3/2019 – Waters was upgraded by analysts at Bank of America Corp from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating.
  • 1/2/2019 – Waters is now covered by analysts at Needham & Company LLC. They set a “hold” rating and a $177.00 price target on the stock.
  • 12/31/2018 – Waters was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $203.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Waters’ top-line growth continues to be driven by strong momentum in the Governmental & Academic market. Further, the company’s position in China and the Americas continues to improve, which is acting as a tailwind. Moreover, the growth in the U.S. pharma market is a big positive. Waters remains optimistic about its strengthening growth initiatives which are likely to help it in gaining investors’ confidence in the near term as well as long haul. Notably, shares of Waters have outperformed the industry it belongs to on a year-to-date basis. However, the sluggish performance of TA instruments remains an overhang. Further, weak European pharma market is a concern for the company’s business growth. Also, unfavorable foreign exchange fluctuations are headwinds.”
  • 12/20/2018 – Waters was downgraded by analysts at TheStreet from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating.
  • 12/12/2018 – Waters was downgraded by analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating. They now have a $180.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $185.00.
  • 12/9/2018 – Waters was downgraded by analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating. They now have a $200.83 price target on the stock.
  • 11/30/2018 – Waters was downgraded by analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating. They now have a $180.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $185.00.
  • 11/27/2018 – Waters was upgraded by analysts at ValuEngine from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating.

WAT stock traded down $2.02 on Monday, hitting $196.23. 36,419 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 606,075. Waters Co. has a 12-month low of $167.93 and a 12-month high of $220.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 6.63 and a quick ratio of 5.93. The company has a market cap of $14.77 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.20, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 0.92.

Waters (NYSE:WAT) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The medical instruments supplier reported $1.92 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.90 by $0.02. Waters had a return on equity of 30.68% and a net margin of 2.32%. The firm had revenue of $578.02 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $587.43 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.77 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Waters Co. will post 8.07 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Waters news, Director Thomas P. Salice sold 3,500 shares of Waters stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $192.00, for a total transaction of $672,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 20,911 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,014,912. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Christopher A. Kuebler sold 8,000 shares of Waters stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $199.67, for a total value of $1,597,360.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 18,911 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,775,959.37. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 37,159 shares of company stock valued at $7,127,100. 0.98% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Captrust Financial Advisors acquired a new position in shares of Waters in the 3rd quarter valued at about $107,000. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC purchased a new position in shares of Waters in the 3rd quarter valued at about $201,000. First Hawaiian Bank purchased a new position in shares of Waters in the 3rd quarter valued at about $208,000. Mission Wealth Management LP purchased a new position in shares of Waters in the 3rd quarter valued at about $208,000. Finally, CLARET ASSET MANAGEMENT Corp purchased a new position in shares of Waters in the 3rd quarter valued at about $209,000. 92.22% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Waters Corporation, a specialty measurement company, provides analytical workflow solutions in the United States, Europe, Asia, and internationally. It designs, manufactures, sells, and services high and ultra performance liquid chromatography technology, as well as mass spectrometry (MS) technology systems and support products, including chromatography columns, other consumable products, and post-warranty service plans.

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