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

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Waters (NYSE:WAT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Saturday. The brokerage currently has a $215.00 price objective on the medical instruments supplier’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 11.06% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Waters rides on growing demand in pharmaceutical market and strong performance in government and academic markets.  Moreover, robust TA product line will continue to help the company in gaining momentum. Further, growing opportunities in the emerging markets, particularly in China remains positive with the increasing demand in pharma, food and environmental testing labs. Additionally, the company is likely to perform well in biopharma market with the robust mass spectrometry portfolio and premium pricing in liquid chromatography market. Notably, shares of Waters have outperformed the industry it belongs to over a year. However, sluggish sales growth in India remains a concern. Also, greater dependence on biopharma market poses a risk. Moreover, macroeconomic events in emerging markets are headwinds.”

A number of other analysts have also commented on the company. Cleveland Research lowered Waters from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 14th. ValuEngine lowered Waters from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 16th. TheStreet raised Waters from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 24th. Barclays cut their price target on Waters from $208.00 to $200.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, April 25th. Finally, Morgan Stanley cut their price target on Waters from $218.00 to $200.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, April 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Waters has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $207.06.

Shares of WAT stock opened at $193.59 on Friday. Waters has a 12 month low of $171.32 and a 12 month high of $220.20. The stock has a market cap of $15.17 billion, a PE ratio of 25.85, a PEG ratio of 2.26 and a beta of 0.94. The company has a current ratio of 6.44, a quick ratio of 5.87 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59.

Waters (NYSE:WAT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 24th. The medical instruments supplier reported $1.59 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.55 by $0.04. Waters had a return on equity of 25.80% and a net margin of 1.14%. The firm had revenue of $530.70 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $534.17 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.46 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.6% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that Waters will post 8.21 EPS for the current year.

Waters declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Tuesday, April 24th that authorizes the company to buyback $3.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the medical instruments supplier to purchase up to 18.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Waters news, Director Joann A. Reed sold 2,090 shares of Waters stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $195.77, for a total value of $409,159.30. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 17,932 shares in the company, valued at $3,510,547.64. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Michael F. Silveira sold 3,521 shares of Waters stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $190.77, for a total value of $671,701.17. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 4,470 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $852,741.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 36,689 shares of company stock valued at $7,130,365 over the last 90 days. 0.98% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd increased its holdings in Waters by 128.0% in the first quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd now owns 13,566 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $2,696,000 after purchasing an additional 7,616 shares in the last quarter. Chesapeake Wealth Management bought a new stake in Waters in the first quarter worth approximately $271,000. Suntrust Banks Inc. increased its holdings in Waters by 31.9% in the first quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 2,762 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $547,000 after purchasing an additional 668 shares in the last quarter. Amalgamated Bank increased its holdings in Waters by 10.7% in the first quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 11,195 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $2,224,000 after purchasing an additional 1,082 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Summit Trail Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Waters by 68,148.5% in the first quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC now owns 113,975 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $114,000 after purchasing an additional 113,808 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 92.17% of the company’s stock.

Waters Company Profile

Waters Corporation, a specialty measurement company, provides analytical workflow solutions in the United States, Europe, Asia, and internationally. It designs, manufactures, sells, and services high and ultra performance liquid chromatography technology, as well as mass spectrometry (MS) technology systems and support products, including chromatography columns, other consumable products, and post-warranty service plans.

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