Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of American Water Works Company Inc (NYSE:AWK) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “American Water Works’ fourth-quarter 2016 results were impressive, owing to consistent investments in regulated operations and contribution from the acquired assets. The company’s inorganic growth strategy has been helping it to expand operations and market reach. In 2016, it added 42,000 customers to existing customer base through acquisitions. We expect the ongoing capital expenditure of the American Water Works’ to improve water and wastewater systems, consequently allowing the company to provide efficient services to its expanding customer base. Shares of American Water Works Company returned higher than the broader industry in the last one month. However, the company is subject to stringent regulations, fluctuating weather patterns, and risk of accidents due to old and soiled pipelines remain persistent headwinds.”

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on AWK. Vetr raised shares of American Water Works Company from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $80.29 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, March 7th. Hilliard Lyons raised shares of American Water Works Company from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $84.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 17th. Macquarie started coverage on shares of American Water Works Company in a research note on Wednesday, January 18th. They issued a neutral rating for the company. Janney Montgomery Scott raised shares of American Water Works Company from a neutral rating to a buy rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $73.31 to $80.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 20th. Finally, HSBC Holdings plc downgraded shares of American Water Works Company from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $79.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, March 15th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $82.09.

American Water Works Company (NYSE:AWK) opened at 75.93 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $13.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.98 and a beta of 0.19. American Water Works Company has a 1-year low of $67.02 and a 1-year high of $85.24. The company has a 50-day moving average of $74.72 and a 200-day moving average of $73.33.

American Water Works Company (NYSE:AWK) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, February 21st. The company reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.57. American Water Works Company had a net margin of 14.19% and a return on equity of 9.85%. The company earned $802 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $820.46 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.55 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 2.4% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that American Water Works Company will post $3.05 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, SVP Mark F. Strauss sold 13,011 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.57, for a total transaction of $1,009,263.27. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 48,135 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,733,831.95. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. IndexIQ Advisors LLC increased its stake in American Water Works Company by 66.2% in the third quarter. IndexIQ Advisors LLC now owns 50,071 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,747,000 after buying an additional 19,942 shares during the period. LGT Capital Partners LTD. increased its stake in American Water Works Company by 12.7% in the third quarter. LGT Capital Partners LTD. now owns 213,730 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,996,000 after buying an additional 24,120 shares during the period. Stephens Inc. AR increased its stake in American Water Works Company by 4.2% in the third quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 7,380 shares of the company’s stock worth $552,000 after buying an additional 296 shares during the period. Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. increased its stake in American Water Works Company by 9.6% in the third quarter. Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. now owns 308,928 shares of the company’s stock worth $23,120,000 after buying an additional 27,035 shares during the period. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in American Water Works Company by 48.5% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 229,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,353,000 after buying an additional 74,800 shares during the period. 81.00% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About American Water Works Company

American Water Works Company, Inc is a holding company for regulated and market-based subsidiaries throughout the United States and Ontario, Canada. The Company’s Regulated Businesses segment provides water and wastewater services as public utilities in 16 states in the United States as of December 31, 2016.

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