Aqua America’s (WTR) “Hold” Rating Reaffirmed at Robert W. Baird

Robert W. Baird restated their hold rating on shares of Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE:WTR) in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $32.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.

Several other research analysts also recently weighed in on WTR. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Aqua America from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Aqua America from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, July 6th. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed an outperform rating on shares of Aqua America in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. Barclays PLC upped their target price on shares of Aqua America from $36.00 to $38.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Friday, September 22nd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company raised shares of Aqua America from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $40.00 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $38.20.

Aqua America (WTR) opened at $36.03 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $6,402.21, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.18 and a beta of 0.57. The company has a current ratio of 0.55, a quick ratio of 0.36 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01.

Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.43 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.43. The company had revenue of $215.01 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $234.40 million. Aqua America had a net margin of 29.38% and a return on equity of 12.49%. Aqua America’s quarterly revenue was down 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.41 EPS. equities analysts predict that Aqua America will post 1.36 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently disclosed a dec 17 dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.2047 per share. This represents a dividend yield of 2.3%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 16th. Aqua America’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 61.65%.

In other Aqua America news, insider Robert A. Rubin sold 12,499 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.46, for a total transaction of $430,715.54. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 80,604 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,777,613.84. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.25% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Aqua America by 10.6% during the 2nd quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 4,480 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $149,000 after purchasing an additional 431 shares during the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc lifted its holdings in shares of Aqua America by 20.8% in the 2nd quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 4,701 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $157,000 after acquiring an additional 809 shares during the last quarter. Barrett Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Aqua America in the 2nd quarter valued at about $197,000. Huntington National Bank lifted its holdings in shares of Aqua America by 6.7% in the 2nd quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 5,950 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $199,000 after acquiring an additional 375 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Private Vista LLC bought a new position in shares of Aqua America in the 3rd quarter valued at about $205,000. 50.81% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Aqua America Company Profile

Aqua America, Inc is a holding company. The Company is engaged in providing water or wastewater services concentrated in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, North Carolina, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia. The Company is the holding company for its primary subsidiary, Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc Its market-based activities are conducted through Aqua Resources, Inc (Aqua Resources) and Aqua Infrastructure, LLC (Aqua Infrastructure).

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