Shares of Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) have received a consensus broker rating score of 3.00 (Hold) from the one analysts that cover the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating.

Brokers have set a 1-year consensus price objective of $58.00 for the company and are predicting that the company will post $0.31 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Middlesex Water an industry rank of 209 out of 255 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

A number of equities analysts recently commented on MSEX shares. Zacks Investment Research cut Middlesex Water from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 15th. Janney Montgomery Scott cut Middlesex Water from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, December 17th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, BidaskClub cut Middlesex Water from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 30th.

Middlesex Water stock traded down $0.94 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $58.38. 30,491 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 45,994. Middlesex Water has a 12-month low of $34.74 and a 12-month high of $60.48. The stock has a market capitalization of $984.44 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.79 and a beta of 0.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 0.33 and a quick ratio of 0.32.

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) last announced its earnings results on Friday, March 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.43 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.42 by $0.01. Middlesex Water had a return on equity of 13.50% and a net margin of 23.48%. The company had revenue of $33.27 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $33.00 million.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 1st. Investors of record on Friday, February 15th were issued a dividend of $0.24 per share. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.64%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 14th. Middlesex Water’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 48.98%.

In related news, Director Walter G. Reinhard sold 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.01, for a total transaction of $29,005.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 81 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,698.81. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 3.48% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MSEX. AQR Capital Management LLC raised its position in Middlesex Water by 7.0% in the 3rd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 28,865 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,398,000 after purchasing an additional 1,879 shares in the last quarter. Man Group plc raised its position in Middlesex Water by 118.0% in the 3rd quarter. Man Group plc now owns 18,845 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $912,000 after purchasing an additional 10,199 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Middlesex Water by 0.6% in the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,284,696 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $62,204,000 after purchasing an additional 8,058 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Middlesex Water by 4.3% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 961,798 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $46,571,000 after purchasing an additional 40,017 shares in the last quarter. Finally, ClariVest Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in Middlesex Water in the 4th quarter valued at about $73,000. Institutional investors own 54.84% of the company’s stock.

Middlesex Water Company Profile

Middlesex Water Company, together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates regulated water utility and wastewater systems. It operates in two segments, Regulated and Non-Regulated. The Regulated segment engages in collecting, treating, and distributing water on a retail and wholesale basis to residential, commercial, industrial, and fire protection customers in parts of New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

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