Watts Water Technologies Inc. (NYSE:WTS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.
According to Zacks, “Watts Water is poised to gain from transformation initiatives in the Americas and EMEA. Consistent focus on acquisitions, growth in operational efficiencies and further share repurchases will also help boost results. The company is persistently looking for strategic opportunities to invest in new products and markets or divest existing product lines. These are well reflected in the company’s positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. However, the company expects margin expansion to moderate more in the second half due to tough comparisons and ramp-up of investment spending to fund growth initiatives. Further, Watts Water remains concerned about EMEA performance given recent events and tough comparison in the fourth quarter. Fluctuation in foreign currency exchange rates, also remain a concern given that 40% of its sales are denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar.”
A number of other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Janney Montgomery Scott assumed coverage on Watts Water Technologies in a report on Friday, September 16th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $63.00 target price on the stock. Northcoast Research assumed coverage on Watts Water Technologies in a report on Friday, July 8th. They issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $61.40.
Watts Water Technologies (NYSE:WTS) traded up 0.40% on Wednesday, hitting $62.75. The stock had a trading volume of 49,514 shares. The firm’s market cap is $2.15 billion. The company’s 50 day moving average is $63.55 and its 200 day moving average is $60.08. Watts Water Technologies has a 12-month low of $44.51 and a 12-month high of $66.00.
Watts Water Technologies (NYSE:WTS) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.75 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.05. Watts Water Technologies had a positive return on equity of 11.85% and a negative net margin of 6.88%. The firm had revenue of $371.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $367.14 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.69 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Watts Water Technologies will post $2.65 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In other news, General Counsel Kenneth Robert Lepage sold 31,362 shares of Watts Water Technologies stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.53, for a total transaction of $2,023,789.86. Following the sale, the general counsel now directly owns 75,727 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,886,663.31. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Elie Melhem sold 5,192 shares of Watts Water Technologies stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.44, for a total value of $324,188.48. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 32,656 shares in the company, valued at $2,039,040.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Advisor Group Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Watts Water Technologies during the second quarter worth about $100,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC raised its stake in shares of Watts Water Technologies by 1,543.6% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 1,808 shares of the company’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 1,698 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new stake in shares of Watts Water Technologies during the second quarter worth about $118,000. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its stake in shares of Watts Water Technologies by 2.1% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 2,203 shares of the company’s stock worth $128,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Clean Yield Group raised its stake in shares of Watts Water Technologies by 8.3% in the second quarter. Clean Yield Group now owns 2,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $151,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. 81.96% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
About Watts Water Technologies
Watts Water Technologies, Inc (Watts) is a supplier of products and solutions that manage and conserve the flow of fluids and energy into, through and out of buildings in the residential and commercial markets. The Company, through its subsidiary, Watts Regulator Co, is engaged in manufacturing products and systems focused on the control, conservation and quality of water, and safety of the people using it.
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