American States Water (NYSE: AWR) is one of 15 publicly-traded companies in the “Water supply” industry, but how does it contrast to its peers? We will compare American States Water to similar businesses based on the strength of its valuation, dividends, risk, earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and profitability.

Profitability

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This table compares American States Water and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
American States Water 15.74% 13.50% 4.77%
American States Water Competitors 10.39% 8.88% 2.64%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares American States Water and its peers top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Net Income Price/Earnings Ratio
American States Water $440.60 million $69.36 million 31.63
American States Water Competitors $722.21 million $111.64 million 23.44

American States Water’s peers have higher revenue and earnings than American States Water. American States Water is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Dividends

American States Water pays an annual dividend of $1.02 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. American States Water pays out 59.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Water supply” companies pay a dividend yield of 2.1% and pay out 55.9% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. American States Water has increased its dividend for 63 consecutive years. American States Water lags its peers as a dividend stock, given its lower dividend yield and higher payout ratio.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for American States Water and its peers, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
American States Water 2 1 0 0 1.33
American States Water Competitors 87 225 253 13 2.33

American States Water presently has a consensus target price of $45.00, indicating a potential downside of 16.79%. As a group, “Water supply” companies have a potential upside of 5.25%. Given American States Water’s peers stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe American States Water has less favorable growth aspects than its peers.

Volatility and Risk

American States Water has a beta of 0.38, meaning that its stock price is 62% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, American States Water’s peers have a beta of 0.51, meaning that their average stock price is 49% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

66.2% of American States Water shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 49.3% of shares of all “Water supply” companies are owned by institutional investors. 1.4% of American States Water shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 11.1% of shares of all “Water supply” companies are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

American States Water peers beat American States Water on 10 of the 15 factors compared.

About American States Water

American States Water Company, through its subsidiaries, provides water and electric services to residential, industrial, and other customers in the United States. It operates through three segments: Water, Electric, and Contracted Services. The company purchases, produces, distributes, and sells water, as well as distributes electricity. As of February 26, 2018, it provided water service to approximately 259,000 customers located throughout 10 counties in Northern, Coastal, and Southern California; and distributed electricity to 24,000 customers in the City of Big Bear and surrounding areas in San Bernardino County, California. The company also provides water and/or wastewater services, including the operation, maintenance, and construction of facilities at the water and/or wastewater systems at various military installations. American States Water Company was founded in 1929 and is based in San Dimas, California.

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