Aqua America Inc. (NYSE:WTR)’s share price gapped up before the market opened on Tuesday . The stock had previously closed at $30.41, but opened at $30.50. Aqua America shares last traded at $30.72, with a volume of 288,738 shares trading hands.

Several equities analysts have recently commented on WTR shares. Hilliard Lyons reaffirmed an “underperform” rating and set a $27.00 target price on shares of Aqua America in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Zacks Investment Research raised Aqua America from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. Finally, Barclays PLC lowered their target price on Aqua America from $38.00 to $34.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, September 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Aqua America has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $31.94.

The stock has a market capitalization of $5.44 billion, a PE ratio of 26.21 and a beta of 0.42. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $31.45 and its 200 day moving average price is $32.46.

Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.33 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.33. Aqua America had a net margin of 25.44% and a return on equity of 13.05%. The business earned $203.88 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $209.61 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.32 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down .9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts predict that Aqua America Inc. will post $1.33 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, August 18th were paid a $0.1913 dividend. This represents a $0.77 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.49%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 16th. This is a boost from Aqua America’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.18. Aqua America’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 66.38%.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WTR. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Aqua America by 3.8% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,910,774 shares of the company’s stock valued at $531,718,000 after buying an additional 545,819 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of Aqua America by 5.2% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 9,250,088 shares of the company’s stock worth $329,861,000 after buying an additional 458,292 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its position in shares of Aqua America by 4.9% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 6,476,132 shares of the company’s stock worth $230,939,000 after buying an additional 305,007 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its position in shares of Aqua America by 3.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 5,245,854 shares of the company’s stock worth $187,067,000 after buying an additional 188,485 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of Aqua America during the fourth quarter worth approximately $40,160,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 48.06% of the company’s stock.

Aqua America Company Profile

Aqua America, Inc is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides water or wastewater services in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia, among others. It is the holding company for its subsidiary, Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc Its market-based activities are conducted through Aqua Resources Inc and Aqua Infrastructure, LLC.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:WTR

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