Aqua America Inc (NYSE:WTR) – Stock analysts at Northcoast Research raised their FY2018 earnings per share estimates for Aqua America in a research note issued on Wednesday, November 7th. Northcoast Research analyst A. Cohen now anticipates that the utilities provider will post earnings per share of $1.42 for the year, up from their previous estimate of $1.41.
Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. ValuEngine raised Aqua America from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 8th. Boenning Scattergood reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Aqua America in a research report on Thursday, August 2nd. Evercore ISI assumed coverage on Aqua America in a research report on Monday, September 17th. They set an “in-line” rating and a $37.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised Aqua America from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 16th. Finally, Macquarie set a $35.00 target price on Aqua America and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 25th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $38.29.
Shares of NYSE:WTR opened at $33.13 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.80 billion, a PE ratio of 24.18, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.35 and a beta of 0.50. Aqua America has a 52-week low of $32.12 and a 52-week high of $39.55. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.11, a quick ratio of 0.68 and a current ratio of 0.52.
Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, November 5th. The utilities provider reported $0.44 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $226.10 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $238.86 million. Aqua America had a return on equity of 12.64% and a net margin of 29.81%. The firm’s revenue was up 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.43 earnings per share.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, December 1st. Investors of record on Friday, November 16th will be given a dividend of $0.219 per share. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.64%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 15th. Aqua America’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 64.23%.
A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Aqua America by 1.2% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 16,595,537 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $612,377,000 after purchasing an additional 189,040 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in Aqua America by 0.4% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 2,614,754 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $96,484,000 after purchasing an additional 9,236 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp boosted its holdings in Aqua America by 2.9% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 2,130,809 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $74,962,000 after purchasing an additional 59,370 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP boosted its holdings in Aqua America by 5.7% during the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 970,220 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $35,801,000 after purchasing an additional 52,641 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its holdings in Aqua America by 5.8% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 932,286 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $32,799,000 after purchasing an additional 50,799 shares in the last quarter. 54.07% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
About Aqua America
Aqua America, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates regulated utilities that provide water or wastewater services in the United States. It offers water and wastewater services through operating and maintenance contracts with municipal authorities and other parties. The company also provides non-utility raw water supply services for firms in the natural gas drilling industry.
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