Aqua America Inc (NYSE:WTR) Declares Dividend Increase – $0.23 Per Share

Aqua America Inc (NYSE:WTR) announced a quarterly dividend on Thursday, July 25th, RTT News reports. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 16th will be paid a dividend of 0.2343 per share by the utilities provider on Sunday, September 1st. This represents a $0.94 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.15%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 15th. This is an increase from Aqua America’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22.

Aqua America has raised its dividend by an average of 7.3% annually over the last three years and has increased its dividend annually for the last 11 consecutive years. Aqua America has a dividend payout ratio of 67.1% meaning its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Research analysts expect Aqua America to earn $1.59 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $0.94 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 59.1%.

Aqua America stock opened at $43.65 on Wednesday. The firm has a 50-day simple moving average of $41.55. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a current ratio of 5.31 and a quick ratio of 0.29. Aqua America has a 12-month low of $32.09 and a 12-month high of $44.13. The company has a market capitalization of $9.29 billion, a PE ratio of 30.96, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.77 and a beta of 0.41.

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

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on WTR shares. UBS Group cut Aqua America from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their price target for the company from $42.00 to $45.00 in a research note on Thursday, August 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Janney Montgomery Scott reissued a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 target price (up from $41.00) on shares of Aqua America in a report on Monday, May 6th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research lowered Aqua America from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Argus raised their price objective on Aqua America from $2.00 to $43.00 in a research note on Wednesday, June 5th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Macquarie set a $37.00 price objective on Aqua America and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, April 22nd. 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 company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $41.40.

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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Dividend History for Aqua America (NYSE:WTR)

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