Waters (WAT) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Waters (NYSE:WAT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Saturday. The brokerage currently has a $219.00 target price on the medical instruments supplier’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 12.38% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Waters Corp. has an impressive earnings history, having surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters. Going forward, the company expects solid demand from pharmaceutical business, steady recurring revenues, strength in Asia and modest recovery in industrial market, going forward. Healthy global industrial conditions and the general rise of regulatory standards for performance and quality should drive future growth. Based on these dynamics, the company is expecting strong mid-single-digit constant currency sales growth in 2018. Even the government and academic markets have returned to growth after sustained weakness. However, fluctuating demand in the Americas remains a concern. Also, rising outlay on the company’s R&D in the coming quarters will push expenses higher and hurt immediate profits. Further, the negative impact of currency translation remains a risk for future quarters as well.”

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A number of other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Waters from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, March 19th. BTIG Research reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Waters in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. Barclays boosted their target price on shares of Waters from $202.00 to $208.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Janney Montgomery Scott boosted their target price on shares of Waters from $200.00 to $230.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase boosted their target price on shares of Waters from $180.00 to $200.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $203.88.

WAT opened at $194.88 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 6.60 and a current ratio of 7.04. The stock has a market capitalization of $15,353.43, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.98, a P/E/G ratio of 2.33 and a beta of 0.93. Waters has a twelve month low of $154.36 and a twelve month high of $220.20.

Waters (NYSE:WAT) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, January 23rd. The medical instruments supplier reported $2.51 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.44 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $687.28 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $671.98 million. Waters had a net margin of 0.88% and a return on equity of 24.70%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 9.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $2.21 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Waters will post 8.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, SVP Terrence P. Kelly sold 1,312 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $212.52, for a total transaction of $278,826.24. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 5,130 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,090,227.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Christopher A. Kuebler sold 416 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $209.00, for a total transaction of $86,944.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 15,327 shares in the company, valued at $3,203,343. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 73,794 shares of company stock worth $16,057,538 over the last 90 days. 5.07% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Advisor Partners LLC lifted its stake in shares of Waters by 11.6% during the 4th quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 2,372 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $500,000 after buying an additional 246 shares in the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of Waters by 0.5% during the 4th quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 46,545 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $8,992,000 after buying an additional 253 shares in the last quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Waters by 7.0% during the 4th quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 3,962 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $765,000 after acquiring an additional 259 shares during the period. OppenheimerFunds Inc. increased its holdings in Waters by 16.2% during the 4th quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 1,860 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $359,000 after acquiring an additional 259 shares during the period. Finally, Chilton Investment Co. LLC increased its holdings in Waters by 6.1% during the 4th quarter. Chilton Investment Co. LLC now owns 4,700 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $908,000 after acquiring an additional 269 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 94.51% of the company’s stock.

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Waters Company Profile

Waters Corporation is an analytical instrument manufacturer. The Company operates through two segments: Waters and TA. It designs, manufactures, sells and services high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC and together with HPLC, referred to as LC) and mass spectrometry (MS) technology systems and support products, including chromatography columns, other consumable products and post-warranty service plans.

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