Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE:WTR) had its price objective boosted by Barclays PLC from $36.00 to $38.00 in a research note released on Friday morning. The brokerage currently has an overweight rating on the utilities provider’s stock.

Several other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on WTR. BidaskClub upgraded Aqua America from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Aqua America from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Boenning Scattergood reiterated an outperform rating on shares of Aqua America in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. Robert W. Baird reiterated a hold rating and issued a $32.00 price objective on shares of Aqua America in a report on Friday, August 25th. Finally, Northcoast Research assumed coverage on Aqua America in a report on Thursday, May 25th. They issued a neutral rating on the stock. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $34.67.

Aqua America (NYSE WTR) opened at 33.75 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $6.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.76 and a beta of 0.53. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $33.80 and its 200-day moving average price is $32.89. Aqua America has a 52-week low of $28.03 and a 52-week high of $34.66.

Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.34. The firm had revenue of $203.40 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $208.28 million. Aqua America had a return on equity of 12.51% and a net margin of 28.59%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down .2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.33 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Aqua America will post $1.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, August 16th were issued a dividend of $0.2047 per share. This is an increase from Aqua America’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 14th. This represents a $0.82 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.43%. Aqua America’s dividend payout ratio is 62.60%.

In other Aqua America news, insider Robert A. Rubin sold 12,499 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.46, for a total transaction of $430,715.54. Following the sale, the insider now owns 80,604 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,777,613.84. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 0.25% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in Aqua America by 1.6% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 17,208,005 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $573,026,000 after purchasing an additional 277,406 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Aqua America by 2,818.7% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,234,276 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $489,782,000 after purchasing an additional 14,712,330 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its holdings in Aqua America by 4.6% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,078,080 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $356,166,000 after purchasing an additional 482,723 shares during the period. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. increased its holdings in Aqua America by 21.0% during the 2nd quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 4,246,581 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $138,821,000 after purchasing an additional 735,706 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in Aqua America by 1.5% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 2,681,653 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $89,300,000 after purchasing an additional 40,655 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 51.02% of the company’s stock.

Aqua America Company Profile

Aqua America, Inc is a holding company. The Company is engaged in providing water or wastewater services concentrated in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, North Carolina, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia. The Company is the holding company for its primary subsidiary, Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc Its market-based activities are conducted through Aqua Resources, Inc (Aqua Resources) and Aqua Infrastructure, LLC (Aqua Infrastructure).

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