Short Interest in Aqua America Inc (NYSE:WTR) Rises By 13.0%

Aqua America Inc (NYSE:WTR) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest in November. As of November 29th, there was short interest totalling 12,920,000 shares, a growth of 13.0% from the November 14th total of 11,430,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,430,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 9.0 days. Currently, 6.0% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on WTR. Argus raised their target price on shares of Aqua America to $50.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, September 30th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Aqua America from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Aqua America from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 price target on the stock in a report on Saturday, October 12th. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott lifted their price target on shares of Aqua America from $50.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 7th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. Aqua America currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $46.80.

Shares of NYSE:WTR traded up $0.33 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $46.21. 1,519,344 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,006,452. Aqua America has a twelve month low of $33.03 and a twelve month high of $47.33. The business’s fifty day moving average price is $45.13 and its 200-day moving average price is $43.84. The firm has a market capitalization of $9.90 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.77, a PEG ratio of 4.71 and a beta of 0.32. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.75, a quick ratio of 6.14 and a current ratio of 6.19.

Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last announced its earnings results on Monday, November 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.48 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by $0.05. Aqua America had a net margin of 18.02% and a return on equity of 8.81%. The business had revenue of $243.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $259.99 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.44 earnings per share. Aqua America’s quarterly revenue was up 7.7% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Aqua America will post 1.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Aqua America by 18.0% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 22,785,489 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $942,636,000 after buying an additional 3,475,241 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Aqua America by 19.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,422,783 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $844,892,000 after purchasing an additional 3,264,786 shares in the last quarter. Zimmer Partners LP increased its stake in Aqua America by 0.7% in the third quarter. Zimmer Partners LP now owns 11,297,094 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $506,449,000 after purchasing an additional 81,915 shares in the last quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. increased its stake in Aqua America by 23.6% in the second quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 6,096,454 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $252,210,000 after purchasing an additional 1,165,654 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Invesco Ltd. increased its stake in Aqua America by 5.7% in the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 2,862,036 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $118,402,000 after purchasing an additional 155,185 shares in the last quarter. 66.30% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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