Equities analysts forecast that Aqua America Inc (NYSE:WTR) will announce $204.65 million in sales for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Four analysts have provided estimates for Aqua America’s earnings, with the lowest sales estimate coming in at $201.00 million and the highest estimate coming in at $210.80 million. Aqua America posted sales of $196.80 million during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year over year growth rate of 4%. The company is scheduled to report its next quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 28th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Aqua America will report full-year sales of $204.65 million for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $807.00 million to $883.10 million. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect that the company will report sales of $885.44 million per share, with estimates ranging from $845.14 million to $925.00 million. Zacks’ sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that that provide coverage for Aqua America.

Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.43 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43. Aqua America had a return on equity of 12.49% and a net margin of 29.38%. The firm had revenue of $215.01 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $234.40 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.41 EPS. Aqua America’s revenue was down 5.1% on a year-over-year basis.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on WTR shares. Argus increased their price target on Aqua America from $37.00 to $41.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 13th. Boenning Scattergood reissued a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 price target on shares of Aqua America in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Zacks Investment Research raised Aqua America from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $38.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and set a $32.00 price target on shares of Aqua America in a research note on Sunday, October 1st. Finally, Hilliard Lyons raised Aqua America from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $38.67.

Aqua America (NYSE WTR) traded down $0.17 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $37.71. The company had a trading volume of 986,784 shares, compared to its average volume of 584,280. Aqua America has a 12-month low of $29.41 and a 12-month high of $39.55. The company has a current ratio of 0.55, a quick ratio of 0.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01. The stock has a market cap of $6,700.73, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.35, a P/E/G ratio of 4.77 and a beta of 0.59.

In related news, VP David Smeltzer sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.36, for a total value of $363,600.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 71,397 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,595,994.92. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. In the last three months, insiders have acquired 108,500 shares of company stock worth $14,175. Corporate insiders own 0.25% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Aqua America by 1.6% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 17,208,005 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $573,026,000 after buying an additional 277,406 shares during the period. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. raised its position in shares of Aqua America by 4.3% in the 3rd quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 4,427,248 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $146,940,000 after buying an additional 180,667 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in shares of Aqua America by 0.5% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 2,695,154 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $89,451,000 after buying an additional 13,501 shares during the period. Impax Asset Management LTD raised its position in shares of Aqua America by 7.0% in the 3rd quarter. Impax Asset Management LTD now owns 2,103,413 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $69,812,000 after buying an additional 137,582 shares during the period. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Aqua America by 0.9% in the 3rd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,000,136 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $33,194,000 after buying an additional 8,898 shares during the period. 51.57% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Aqua America

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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