First Trust Advisors LP cut its position in shares of Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) by 29.6% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 120,932 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 50,964 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP owned approximately 0.69% of Middlesex Water worth $8,124,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Nuveen Asset Management LLC raised its position in Middlesex Water by 29.2% during the first quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 80,345 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,830,000 after purchasing an additional 18,181 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its position in Middlesex Water by 35.3% during the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 30,941 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,860,000 after purchasing an additional 8,072 shares during the period. Advisor Group Holdings Inc. purchased a new stake in Middlesex Water during the first quarter valued at approximately $1,077,000. Swiss National Bank raised its position in Middlesex Water by 6.6% during the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 33,762 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,030,000 after purchasing an additional 2,100 shares during the period. Finally, Eaton Vance Management raised its position in Middlesex Water by 21.9% during the first quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 347,075 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $20,866,000 after purchasing an additional 62,285 shares during the period. 58.85% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
MSEX has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Middlesex Water from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Friday, May 8th. BidaskClub downgraded Middlesex Water from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 9th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $73.00.
Shares of NASDAQ MSEX opened at $64.06 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.43 and a current ratio of 0.50. The business’s 50 day moving average price is $66.28 and its 200-day moving average price is $63.85. Middlesex Water has a fifty-two week low of $48.79 and a fifty-two week high of $72.41. The company has a market cap of $1.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.25 and a beta of 0.26.
Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.04. Middlesex Water had a return on equity of 11.75% and a net margin of 25.78%. The firm had revenue of $35.28 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $35.00 million. Sell-side analysts predict that Middlesex Water will post 2.09 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 14th will be issued a $0.256 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 13th. This represents a $1.02 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.60%. Middlesex Water’s payout ratio is 50.75%.
Middlesex Water Profile
Middlesex Water Company, together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates regulated water utility and wastewater systems. It operates in two segments, Regulated and Non-Regulated. The Regulated segment engages in collecting, treating, and distributing water on a retail and wholesale basis to residential, commercial, industrial, and fire protection customers in parts of New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.
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