Fenimore Asset Management Inc. lessened its stake in Aqua America Inc (NYSE:WTR) by 0.1% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 661,444 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 374 shares during the quarter. Fenimore Asset Management Inc. owned 0.31% of Aqua America worth $27,364,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its stake in shares of Aqua America by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 72,235 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,988,000 after buying an additional 1,204 shares during the period. Raymond James Trust N.A. purchased a new stake in shares of Aqua America in the second quarter valued at $223,000. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System lifted its position in shares of Aqua America by 15.5% in the second quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 55,100 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,259,000 after acquiring an additional 7,400 shares in the last quarter. 6 Meridian lifted its position in shares of Aqua America by 1.8% in the second quarter. 6 Meridian now owns 14,182 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $587,000 after acquiring an additional 244 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nisa Investment Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Aqua America by 5.6% in the second quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 56,150 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,323,000 after acquiring an additional 3,000 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 49.58% of the company’s stock.
Several research firms recently weighed in on WTR. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Aqua America from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 23rd. HSBC set a $46.00 target price on Aqua America and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 28th. Bank of America started coverage on Aqua America in a research note on Monday, July 15th. They set a “buy” rating and a $45.00 price target for the company. ValuEngine lowered Aqua America from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 18th. Finally, Argus upped their price target 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. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $41.40.
Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.37 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.39 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $218.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $221.07 million. Aqua America had a return on equity of 10.13% and a net margin of 17.18%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.37 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Aqua America Inc will post 1.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, September 1st. Investors of record on Friday, August 16th will be issued a $0.2343 dividend. This represents a $0.94 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.14%. This is a boost from Aqua America’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 15th. Aqua America’s payout ratio is presently 62.41%.
In related news, Director Daniel J. Hilferty III bought 1,153 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 15th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $43.35 per share, for a total transaction of $49,982.55. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 8,720 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $378,012. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.30% of the company’s stock.
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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