Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Middlesex Water Company treats, stores and distributes water for residential, commercial, industrial and fire prevention purposes. “

Several other research firms have also recently commented on MSEX. Janney Montgomery Scott restated a buy rating and set a $37.00 price target on shares of SeaWorld Entertainment in a report on Wednesday, May 8th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Winmark from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, May 14th.

NASDAQ MSEX traded down $0.83 on Wednesday, hitting $60.17. 44,900 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 53,969. Middlesex Water has a 52-week low of $42.34 and a 52-week high of $63.67. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a current ratio of 0.32 and a quick ratio of 0.26. The company has a market cap of $1.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.70 and a beta of 0.35. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $60.19.

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, May 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.39 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.31 by $0.08. Middlesex Water had a net margin of 25.05% and a return on equity of 14.01%. The business had revenue of $30.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.00 million. Equities analysts forecast that Middlesex Water will post 2.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Dennis W. Doll sold 3,127 shares of Middlesex Water stock in a transaction on Monday, May 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.33, for a total value of $191,778.91. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 59,011 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,619,144.63. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Robert K. Fullagar sold 500 shares of Middlesex Water stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.39, for a total transaction of $30,695.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 1,900 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $116,641. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 6,782 shares of company stock worth $414,470. 3.49% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MSEX. Rhumbline Advisers raised its holdings in shares of Middlesex Water by 52.1% during the 4th quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 21,524 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,148,000 after acquiring an additional 7,370 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Middlesex Water by 80.5% during the 4th quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 9,338 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $499,000 after acquiring an additional 4,166 shares in the last quarter. LPL Financial LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Middlesex Water during the 4th quarter worth approximately $258,000. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Middlesex Water by 8.3% during the 4th quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 13,011 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $695,000 after acquiring an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Middlesex Water by 1.0% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,297,466 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $69,220,000 after acquiring an additional 12,770 shares in the last quarter. 54.61% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Middlesex Water

Middlesex Water Company, together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates regulated water utility and wastewater systems. It operates in two segments, Regulated and Non-Regulated. The Regulated segment engages in collecting, treating, and distributing water on a retail and wholesale basis to residential, commercial, industrial, and fire protection customers in parts of New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

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