American Water Works (AWK) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has $101.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “In the last 12 months, shares of the American Water Works have gained higher than the industry it belongs to. The company continues to add customers and expand its market reach through acquisitions and organic growth. Year to date, the water utility has added 26,400 customers through closed acquisitions and organic growth and will add another 45,000 customers when the pending acquisitions are completed. The planned capital expenditure to improve its water and wastewater systems, will enable the company to provide efficient services to its expanding customer base.   However, American Water Works is subject to stringent regulations, fluctuating weather patterns and risk of accidents due to old and soiled pipelines. High debt level is a headwind.”

Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Robert W. Baird upped their price objective on shares of American Water Works from $82.00 to $87.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Janney Montgomery Scott cut shares of American Water Works from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of American Water Works in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Bank of America assumed coverage on shares of American Water Works in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. They set a buy rating and a $95.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company set a $89.00 price objective on shares of American Water Works and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. American Water Works presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $88.43.

Shares of American Water Works (NYSE AWK) opened at $89.70 on Tuesday. American Water Works has a one year low of $69.96 and a one year high of $92.37. The stock has a market cap of $15,936.06, a PE ratio of 30.81, a P/E/G ratio of 3.97 and a beta of 0.27. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.21, a quick ratio of 0.47 and a current ratio of 0.49.

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.08. American Water Works had a net margin of 15.82% and a return on equity of 9.69%. The company had revenue of $936.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $992.58 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.05 EPS. American Water Works’s revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that American Water Works will post 3.01 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 7th will be paid a $0.415 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 6th. This represents a $1.66 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.85%. American Water Works’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 56.27%.

In other news, insider Deborah A. Degillio sold 822 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $89.75, for a total value of $73,774.50. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 3,659 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $328,395.25. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, COO Walter Lynch sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $89.95, for a total transaction of $449,750.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 97,667 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,785,146.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 6,856 shares of company stock valued at $616,700. Corporate insiders own 0.34% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of American Water Works by 3.3% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 570,921 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $44,504,000 after acquiring an additional 18,496 shares during the last quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of American Water Works by 2.8% in the 2nd quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 13,740 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,071,000 after acquiring an additional 374 shares during the last quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board lifted its holdings in shares of American Water Works by 93.3% in the 2nd quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 92,431 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $7,205,000 after acquiring an additional 44,620 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its holdings in shares of American Water Works by 9.4% in the 2nd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,512,371 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $117,895,000 after acquiring an additional 129,788 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Blair William & Co. IL acquired a new position in shares of American Water Works in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $225,000. 80.79% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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American Water Works Company Profile

American Water Works Company, Inc is a holding company for regulated and market-based subsidiaries throughout the United States and Ontario, Canada. The Company’s Regulated Businesses segment provides water and wastewater services as public utilities in 16 states in the United States as of December 31, 2016.

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