Waters (WAT) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Waters (NYSE:WAT) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Waters’ solid momentum in the pharmaceutical market owing to its well-performing small as well as large molecule applications remains the key growth driver. Also, its strong hold in Chinese pharmaceutical space is a major positive. Further, the company’s robust TA product lines will continue to aid its performance in the industrial market. Additionally, growing momentum of liquid chromatography systems, mass spectrometry technologies and thermal analysis systems will continue to drive its top-line growth. Estimates have been stable lately ahead of the company’s Q1 earnings release. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. Notably, the stock has outperformed the industry it belongs to over a year. However, sluggishness in European and Indian pharmaceutical markets is a major concern. Also, weak momentum across biomedical research customers is an overhang.”

Several other research firms also recently weighed in on WAT. Robert W. Baird downgraded Waters from an outperform rating to a neutral rating and increased their price target for the stock from $191.00 to $211.00 in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. BTIG Research increased their price objective on Waters to $260.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, January 24th. Barclays reissued a hold rating and set a $200.00 price objective on shares of Waters in a report on Friday, January 25th. TheStreet raised Waters from a c+ rating to a b rating in a report on Thursday, January 17th. Finally, Bank of America raised Waters from an underperform rating to a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, January 3rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. Waters has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $208.99.



WAT stock opened at $248.94 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 5.28, a current ratio of 5.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73. The firm has a market cap of $17.74 billion, a PE ratio of 30.03, a PEG ratio of 2.48 and a beta of 1.19. Waters has a fifty-two week low of $167.93 and a fifty-two week high of $255.21.

Waters (NYSE:WAT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 23rd. The medical instruments supplier reported $2.87 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.64 by $0.23. The company had revenue of $715.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $702.74 million. Waters had a return on equity of 34.18% and a net margin of 24.54%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $2.51 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Waters will post 9.35 EPS for the current year.

In other Waters news, SVP Terrence P. Kelly sold 1,312 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $232.03, for a total value of $304,423.36. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 3,258 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $755,953.74. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Thomas P. Salice sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $231.59, for a total value of $463,180.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 20,010 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,634,115.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 105,032 shares of company stock worth $24,284,760. Insiders own 0.98% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WAT. Diversified Trust Co raised its holdings in shares of Waters by 3.7% during the 4th quarter. Diversified Trust Co now owns 1,985 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $374,000 after buying an additional 70 shares in the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Waters by 4.2% during the 4th quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 1,792 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $338,000 after buying an additional 72 shares in the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp raised its holdings in shares of Waters by 33.8% during the 4th quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 297 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $56,000 after buying an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. QS Investors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Waters by 2.3% during the 4th quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 3,779 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $713,000 after buying an additional 85 shares in the last quarter. Finally, ETF Managers Group LLC raised its holdings in shares of Waters by 15.4% during the 4th quarter. ETF Managers Group LLC now owns 652 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $123,000 after buying an additional 87 shares in the last quarter. 94.86% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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