Investors Buy Waters (WAT) on Weakness Following Analyst Downgrade

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Traders purchased shares of Waters Co. (NYSE:WAT) on weakness during trading on Wednesday after Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on the stock from $205.00 to $204.00. $56.55 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $37.46 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $19.09 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Waters had the 14th highest net in-flow for the day. Waters traded down ($1.11) for the day and closed at $196.66

Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Cleveland Research downgraded Waters from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 14th. Zacks Investment Research raised Waters from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $219.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Saturday, April 7th. ValuEngine downgraded Waters from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 16th. TheStreet raised Waters from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 24th. Finally, Barclays cut their target price on Waters from $208.00 to $200.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, April 25th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Waters currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $206.27.

In related news, Director Joann A. Reed sold 2,090 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $195.77, for a total transaction of $409,159.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 17,932 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,510,547.64. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Michael F. Silveira sold 3,521 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $190.77, for a total value of $671,701.17. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 4,470 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $852,741.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 36,689 shares of company stock worth $7,130,365. Corporate insiders own 0.98% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of WAT. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in Waters during the 4th quarter valued at $316,000. LPL Financial LLC boosted its holdings in Waters by 7.7% during the 4th quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 3,760 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $729,000 after acquiring an additional 269 shares during the period. Jane Street Group LLC purchased a new position in Waters during the 4th quarter valued at $294,000. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB boosted its holdings in Waters by 13.8% during the 4th quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 8,437 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $1,630,000 after acquiring an additional 1,023 shares during the period. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its holdings in Waters by 1.7% during the 1st quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 239,315 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $47,541,000 after acquiring an additional 4,037 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 92.18% of the company’s stock.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 2.65 and a quick ratio of 5.87. The firm has a market cap of $15.49 billion, a PE ratio of 26.50, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.36 and a beta of 0.96.

Waters (NYSE:WAT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 24th. The medical instruments supplier reported $1.95 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.92 by $0.03. Waters had a return on equity of 27.85% and a net margin of 2.12%. The company had revenue of $596.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $598.73 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.76 EPS. Waters’s revenue was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Waters Co. will post 8.15 earnings per share for the current year.

Waters declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Tuesday, April 24th that allows the company to buyback $3.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the medical instruments supplier to buy up to 18.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

About Waters

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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