Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) Earns Hold Rating from Evercore ISI

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Evercore ISI reaffirmed their hold rating on shares of Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) in a research report released on Sunday, AnalystRatings.com reports. The brokerage currently has a $37.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.

“We use a sum-of-the-parts approach to value WTR using a blend of water and gas multiples. At this current juncture, we think the stock trades above our bull-base valuation and we see limited near-term upside; our rating remains In Line. Earnings notes. 2Q19 adjusted EPS of $0.37 was flat to prior year. EPS growth from rate cases and customer growth (acquisitions/ organic) was offset by higher depreciation, lower consumption, and impact of repairs tax. 2019 capex is still expected to be ~$550mm and the company reaffirmed its $1.4bn capex plan through ’21, which supports 7% rate base growth in their legacy water business. The Y/Y customer growth rate is still expected to be between 2-3% for ’19 (from both organic growth and acquisitions). Peoples Gas update. Aqua still targets to close the Peoples Gas acquisition in fall of this year.”,” Evercore ISI’s analyst wrote.

A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on WTR. HSBC set a $46.00 target price on shares of Aqua America and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, June 28th. Janney Montgomery Scott reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $44.00 target price (up previously from $41.00) on shares of Aqua America in a research report on Monday, May 6th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. UBS Group downgraded shares of Aqua America from a buy rating to a neutral rating and raised their target price for the company from $42.00 to $45.00 in a research report on Thursday, August 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Argus raised their target price on shares of Aqua America from $2.00 to $43.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 5th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Bank of America began coverage on shares of Aqua America in a research report on Monday, July 15th. They issued a buy rating and a $45.00 target price for the company. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $41.40.

Aqua America stock opened at $43.23 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $9.29 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.66, a P/E/G ratio of 4.77 and a beta of 0.41. Aqua America has a 1-year low of $32.09 and a 1-year high of $44.13. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $41.59. The company has a current ratio of 5.31, a quick ratio of 0.29 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72.

Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.37 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.39 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $218.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $221.07 million. Aqua America had a net margin of 17.18% and a return on equity of 10.13%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.37 EPS. As a group, analysts predict that Aqua America will post 1.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 16th will be paid a $0.2343 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 15th. This represents a $0.94 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.17%. This is a boost from Aqua America’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. Aqua America’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 62.41%.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in WTR. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Aqua America by 18.0% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 22,785,489 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $942,636,000 after acquiring an additional 3,475,241 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Aqua America by 19.0% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,422,783 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $844,892,000 after buying an additional 3,264,786 shares during the last quarter. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Aqua America during the 2nd quarter worth about $107,118,000. Jennison Associates LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Aqua America during the 2nd quarter worth about $99,797,000. Finally, Ronna Sue Cohen lifted its stake in shares of Aqua America by 3,399.3% during the 1st quarter. Ronna Sue Cohen now owns 1,618,826 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,619,000 after buying an additional 1,572,564 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 49.58% of the company’s stock.

Aqua America Company Profile

Aqua America, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates regulated utilities that provide water or wastewater services in the United States. It offers water services through operating and maintenance contracts with municipal authorities and other parties. The company also provides non-utility raw water supply services for firms in the natural gas drilling industry; and water and sewer line protection solutions, and repair services to households through third-party.

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Analyst Recommendations for Aqua America (NYSE:WTR)

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