Pure Cycle (PCYO) versus Middlesex Water (MSEX) Head-To-Head Survey

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Pure Cycle (NASDAQ: PCYO) and Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) are both small-cap utilities companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, valuation and profitability.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Pure Cycle and Middlesex Water, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Pure Cycle 0 0 0 0 N/A
Middlesex Water 0 1 0 0 2.00

Middlesex Water has a consensus target price of $44.00, suggesting a potential upside of 4.34%. Given Middlesex Water’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Middlesex Water is more favorable than Pure Cycle.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Pure Cycle and Middlesex Water’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Pure Cycle $1.22 million 185.99 -$1.71 million N/A N/A
Middlesex Water $130.77 million 5.28 $22.80 million $1.38 30.56

Middlesex Water has higher revenue and earnings than Pure Cycle.


This table compares Pure Cycle and Middlesex Water’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Pure Cycle -40.09% -1.54% -1.51%
Middlesex Water 17.34% 10.06% 3.44%


Middlesex Water pays an annual dividend of $0.89 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. Pure Cycle does not pay a dividend. Middlesex Water pays out 64.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Risk & Volatility

Pure Cycle has a beta of 0.59, suggesting that its stock price is 41% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Middlesex Water has a beta of 0.44, suggesting that its stock price is 56% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

66.3% of Pure Cycle shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 51.9% of Middlesex Water shares are held by institutional investors. 4.8% of Pure Cycle shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 3.5% of Middlesex Water shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.


Middlesex Water beats Pure Cycle on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Pure Cycle

Pure Cycle Corporation designs, constructs, operates, and maintains water and wastewater systems in the Denver metropolitan area and Colorado Front Range in the United States. It provides water production, storage, treatment, retail distribution systems bulk transmission, wastewater collection and treatment, irrigation water treatment and transmission, construction management, billing and collection, and emergency response services. The company offers its services to wholesale customers, which include commercial and industrial customers, and local governmental entities that provide water and wastewater services to their end-use customers. It also leases its farms. The company was founded in 1976 and is based in Watkins, Colorado.

About Middlesex Water

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. This segment also includes regulated wastewater systems in New Jersey and Delaware. The Non-Regulated segment provides non-regulated contract services for the operation and maintenance of municipal and private water and wastewater systems in New Jersey and Delaware. Middlesex Water Company was founded in 1897 and is headquartered in Iselin, New Jersey.

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