Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) Earns Hold Rating from Evercore ISI
Evercore ISI reaffirmed their hold rating on shares of Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) in a research note published on Sunday morning, AnalystRatings.com reports. They currently have a $37.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.
“We use a sum-of-the-parts approach to value WTR using a blend of water and gas multiples. At this current juncture, we think the stock trades above our bull-base valuation and we see limited near-term upside; our rating remains In Line. Earnings notes. 2Q19 adjusted EPS of $0.37 was flat to prior year. EPS growth from rate cases and customer growth (acquisitions/ organic) was offset by higher depreciation, lower consumption, and impact of repairs tax. 2019 capex is still expected to be ~$550mm and the company reaffirmed its $1.4bn capex plan through ’21, which supports 7% rate base growth in their legacy water business. The Y/Y customer growth rate is still expected to be between 2-3% for ’19 (from both organic growth and acquisitions). Peoples Gas update. Aqua still targets to close the Peoples Gas acquisition in fall of this year.”,” the firm’s analyst wrote.
A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Aqua America from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 23rd. Macquarie set a $37.00 target price on shares of Aqua America and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Monday, April 22nd. UBS Group cut shares of Aqua America from a buy rating to a neutral rating and upped their target price for the company from $42.00 to $45.00 in a research note on Thursday, August 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. ValuEngine cut shares of Aqua America from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, April 18th. Finally, HSBC set a $46.00 target price on shares of Aqua America and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, June 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $41.40.
Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, August 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.37 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.39 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $218.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $221.07 million. Aqua America had a net margin of 17.18% and a return on equity of 10.13%. The business’s revenue was up 3.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.37 EPS. As a group, equities analysts predict that Aqua America will post 1.47 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.2343 per share. This represents a $0.94 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.17%. This is a boost from Aqua America’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 15th. Aqua America’s dividend payout ratio is currently 62.41%.
A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WTR. Krane Funds Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Aqua America during the second quarter worth approximately $25,000. Bremer Bank National Association acquired a new position in shares of Aqua America during the first quarter worth approximately $25,000. Signaturefd LLC lifted its position in shares of Aqua America by 1,365.2% during the first quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 674 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $25,000 after purchasing an additional 628 shares in the last quarter. Oakworth Capital Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Aqua America during the second quarter worth approximately $28,000. Finally, Centersquare Investment Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Aqua America during the second quarter worth approximately $32,000. 49.58% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About Aqua America
Aqua America, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates regulated utilities that provide water or wastewater services in the United States. It offers water services through operating and maintenance contracts with municipal authorities and other parties. The company also provides non-utility raw water supply services for firms in the natural gas drilling industry; and water and sewer line protection solutions, and repair services to households through third-party.
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