Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Waters (WAT) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Waters (NYSE:WAT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Tuesday, March 20th.

According to Zacks, “Waters Corp. has an impressive earnings history, having surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters. Going forward, the company expects solid demand from pharmaceutical business, steady recurring revenues, strength in Asia and modest recovery in industrial market, going forward. Healthy global industrial conditions and the general rise of regulatory standards for performance and quality should drive future growth. Based on these dynamics, the company is expecting strong mid-single-digit constant currency sales growth in 2018. Even the government and academic markets have returned to growth after sustained weakness. However, fluctuating demand in the Americas remains a concern. Also, rising outlay on the company’s R&D in the coming quarters will push expenses higher and hurt immediate profits. Further, the negative impact of currency translation remains a risk for future quarters as well.”

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Several other equities analysts also recently issued reports on WAT. Morgan Stanley upgraded Waters from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating and set a $192.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, December 4th. Robert W. Baird increased their price objective on Waters from $219.00 to $220.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Waters from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 7th. Janney Montgomery Scott upped their price target on shares of Waters from $200.00 to $230.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Finally, Evercore ISI assumed coverage on shares of Waters in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. They set an in-line rating and a $198.00 target price on the stock. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $205.50.

Waters stock traded up $1.69 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $202.32. The stock had a trading volume of 317,881 shares, compared to its average volume of 505,227. The stock has a market capitalization of $16,018.46, a P/E ratio of 27.11, a PEG ratio of 2.41 and a beta of 0.93. Waters has a twelve month low of $154.36 and a twelve month high of $220.20. The company has a current ratio of 7.04, a quick ratio of 6.60 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85.

Waters (NYSE:WAT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 23rd. The medical instruments supplier reported $2.51 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.44 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $687.28 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $671.98 million. Waters had a return on equity of 24.70% and a net margin of 0.88%. The company’s revenue was up 9.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $2.21 earnings per share. sell-side analysts predict that Waters will post 8.17 EPS for the current year.

In related news, SVP Mark T. Beaudouin sold 42,143 shares of Waters stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $217.21, for a total transaction of $9,153,881.03. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 20,749 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,506,890.29. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Christopher A. Kuebler sold 416 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $209.00, for a total transaction of $86,944.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 15,327 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,203,343. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 73,794 shares of company stock worth $16,057,538 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.98% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB lifted its holdings in shares of Waters by 13.8% during the 4th quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 8,437 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $1,630,000 after acquiring an additional 1,023 shares during the period. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. lifted its holdings in shares of Waters by 65.2% during the 4th quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 3,800 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $734,000 after acquiring an additional 1,500 shares during the period. Banco de Sabadell S.A bought a new stake in shares of Waters during the 4th quarter worth approximately $193,000. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta as represented by Alberta Investment Management Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Waters by 72.3% during the 4th quarter. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta as represented by Alberta Investment Management Corp now owns 44,100 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $8,520,000 after acquiring an additional 18,500 shares during the period. Finally, MetLife Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Waters during the 4th quarter worth approximately $4,754,000. 94.48% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Waters Company Profile

Waters Corporation is an analytical instrument manufacturer. The Company operates through two segments: Waters and TA. It designs, manufactures, sells and services high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC and together with HPLC, referred to as LC) and mass spectrometry (MS) technology systems and support products, including chromatography columns, other consumable products and post-warranty service plans.

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