Head to Head Analysis: American Water Works (AWK) versus Its Competitors

American Water Works (NYSE: AWK) is one of 17 publicly-traded companies in the “UTIL-WATER SPLY” industry, but how does it compare to its rivals? We will compare American Water Works to similar businesses based on the strength of its dividends, profitability, earnings, institutional ownership, risk, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

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84.7% of American Water Works shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 43.1% of shares of all “UTIL-WATER SPLY” companies are owned by institutional investors. 0.3% of American Water Works shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 10.5% of shares of all “UTIL-WATER SPLY” companies are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

American Water Works pays an annual dividend of $1.66 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. American Water Works pays out 70.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “UTIL-WATER SPLY” companies pay a dividend yield of 2.2% and pay out 55.9% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. American Water Works has increased its dividend for 9 consecutive years. American Water Works lags its rivals as a dividend stock, given its lower dividend yield and higher payout ratio.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares American Water Works and its rivals gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Net Income Price/Earnings Ratio
American Water Works $3.36 billion $426.00 million 33.43
American Water Works Competitors $3.27 billion $157.23 million 11.79

American Water Works has higher revenue and earnings than its rivals. American Water Works is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its rivals, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Volatility & Risk

American Water Works has a beta of 0.19, suggesting that its share price is 81% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, American Water Works’ rivals have a beta of 0.46, suggesting that their average share price is 54% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for American Water Works and its rivals, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
American Water Works 0 6 3 0 2.33
American Water Works Competitors 94 264 284 17 2.34

American Water Works presently has a consensus price target of $87.86, indicating a potential upside of 10.89%. As a group, “UTIL-WATER SPLY” companies have a potential upside of 6.68%. Given American Water Works’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe American Water Works is more favorable than its rivals.

Profitability

This table compares American Water Works and its rivals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
American Water Works 12.69% 10.03% 2.83%
American Water Works Competitors 8.27% 9.06% 2.69%

Summary

American Water Works beats its rivals on 8 of the 15 factors compared.

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. The Market-Based Businesses consists of four segments, including Military Services Group, which conducts operation and maintenance (O&M) of water and wastewater systems for military bases; Contract Operations Group, which conducts O&M of water and wastewater facilities for municipalities and the food and beverage industry; Homeowner Services Group, which primarily provides water and sewer line protection plans for homeowners, and Keystone, which provides water services for natural gas exploration and production companies. The Company, through its subsidiary, American Water Works Service Company, Inc. provides support and operational services for its operating subsidiaries.

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