GWM Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Aqua America Inc (NYSE:WTR) by 1.6% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 48,689 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 761 shares during the quarter. GWM Advisors LLC’s holdings in Aqua America were worth $2,014,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in WTR. Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. bought a new stake in shares of Aqua America in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $38,367,000. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its holdings in shares of Aqua America by 12,238,028.6% in the 1st quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 856,669 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $31,218,000 after purchasing an additional 856,662 shares in the last quarter. Artemis Investment Management LLP bought a new stake in shares of Aqua America in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $17,482,000. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Aqua America by 21.7% in the 1st quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,745,986 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $63,623,000 after purchasing an additional 311,577 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its holdings in shares of Aqua America by 101.4% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 478,360 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $19,790,000 after purchasing an additional 240,832 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 52.76% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities research analysts have recently issued reports on WTR shares. Macquarie set a $37.00 price target on shares of Aqua America and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, April 22nd. Evercore ISI restated a “hold” rating and set a $37.00 price target on shares of Aqua America in a report on Sunday, August 11th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Aqua America from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 23rd. UBS Group lowered shares of Aqua America from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $42.00 to $45.00 in a report on Thursday, August 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, HSBC set a $46.00 price target on shares of Aqua America and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $41.40.
Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.39 by ($0.02). Aqua America had a net margin of 17.18% and a return on equity of 10.13%. The firm had revenue of $218.90 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $221.07 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.37 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 3.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts expect that Aqua America Inc will post 1.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed 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. This represents a $0.94 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.11%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 15th. This is a positive change from Aqua America’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. Aqua America’s dividend payout ratio is currently 66.67%.
In related news, Director Daniel J. Hilferty III acquired 1,153 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 15th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $43.35 per share, for a total transaction of $49,982.55. Following the purchase, the director now owns 8,720 shares in the company, valued at $378,012. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.30% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Aqua America 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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