Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Year to date shares of American Water Works Company have gained higher than the industry. American Water Works continues to add customers and expand its market reach through acquisitions and organic growth. Year to date, the water utility has added 22,000 customers through closed acquisitions and organic growth. Thanks to its ongoing capital expenditure we expect the company to improve its water and wastewater systems, providing efficient services to its expanding customer base.  Unimpressive performance in the market-based businesses has proved detrimental to the company’s earnings. It is subject to stringent regulations, fluctuating weather patterns and risk of accidents due to old and soiled pipelines.”

A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of American Water Works from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, June 30th. Vetr downgraded shares of American Water Works from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $84.04 price target on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, June 14th. Finally, Northcoast Research initiated coverage on shares of American Water Works in a report on Thursday, May 25th. They set a neutral rating on the stock. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. American Water Works currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $82.86.

Shares of American Water Works (NYSE AWK) traded up 0.50% during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $82.68. The company had a trading volume of 1,285,704 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.74 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.21 and a beta of 0.25. American Water Works has a 52-week low of $69.41 and a 52-week high of $83.06. The company’s 50-day moving average is $81.46 and its 200 day moving average is $79.06.

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by ($0.07). The company had revenue of $844.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $869.52 million. American Water Works had a net margin of 14.20% and a return on equity of 9.70%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.77 EPS. Analysts anticipate that American Water Works will post $3.01 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 9th were issued a $0.415 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 7th. This represents a $1.66 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.01%. American Water Works’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 62.64%.

In related news, COO Walter Lynch sold 15,169 shares of American Water Works stock in a transaction on Monday, August 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.00, for a total value of $1,243,858.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 111,171 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,116,022. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.34% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of American Water Works by 2.6% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 18,185,767 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,417,580,000 after purchasing an additional 465,748 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of American Water Works by 1,423.2% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 14,519,771 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,129,202,000 after purchasing an additional 13,566,529 shares during the period. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of American Water Works by 3.2% during the 2nd quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 4,004,935 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $313,105,000 after purchasing an additional 125,587 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its holdings in shares of American Water Works by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 2,680,122 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $208,915,000 after purchasing an additional 12,280 shares during the period. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its holdings in shares of American Water Works by 11.0% during the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 2,532,449 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $197,405,000 after purchasing an additional 251,271 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 79.93% of the company’s stock.

American Water Works Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for American Water Works (NYSE:AWK)

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