Aqua America (WTR) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Monday morning. They currently have $41.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Aqua America’s shares have gained higher than the industry in the last 12 months. Aqua America has expanded its customer base through acquisitions during the first nine months of 2017. It aims to increase its customer level by 1.5-2% in 2017 through strategic acquisitions and organic initiatives. Rate hikes are boosting its earnings and the company is continuing with its infrastructural strengthening initiatives. The company aims to make capital investments of over $450 million in 2017, which is part of an ambitious investment target of more than $1.2 billion in the 2017-2019 period. Aqua America, like other water utilities runs the risk of contamination of water sources, which could raise its operating costs while fluctuating weather conditions might dampen demand for water.”
Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Argus boosted their price objective on Aqua America from $37.00 to $41.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 13th. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $43.00 price objective on shares of Aqua America in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $32.00 price objective on shares of Aqua America in a report on Sunday, October 1st. Hilliard Lyons upgraded Aqua America from an underperform rating to a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, December 21st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co upgraded Aqua America from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $40.00 price target on the stock in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $39.17.
Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.43 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.43. The business had revenue of $215.01 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $234.40 million. Aqua America had a return on equity of 12.49% and a net margin of 29.38%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.41 EPS. equities research analysts forecast that Aqua America will post 1.36 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In other Aqua America news, VP David Smeltzer sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 sale, the vice president now directly owns 71,397 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,595,994.92. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Over the last quarter, insiders have purchased 70,500 shares of company stock valued at $8,475. 0.25% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Headinvest LLC acquired a new position in Aqua America during the third quarter worth $203,000. Private Vista LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Aqua America in the 3rd quarter valued at $205,000. IFP Advisors Inc raised its holdings in shares of Aqua America by 31.8% in the 3rd quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 6,196 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $206,000 after buying an additional 1,495 shares during the period. Eqis Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Aqua America in the 3rd quarter valued at $206,000. Finally, Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Aqua America in the 3rd quarter valued at $211,000. 51.66% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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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