Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRG – Get Rating) saw a large drop in short interest in April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 3,540,000 shares, a drop of 16.9% from the March 31st total of 4,260,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 1,180,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.0 days.
Several analysts recently issued reports on the stock. StockNews.com cut shares of Essential Utilities from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 13th. HSBC downgraded Essential Utilities from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Friday, April 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research raised Essential Utilities from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $49.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, April 27th. Barclays boosted their price target on shares of Essential Utilities from $51.00 to $52.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 15th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company lifted their target price on shares of Essential Utilities from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 19th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $52.00.
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of WTRG. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. grew its position in Essential Utilities by 6.7% during the 4th quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 7,635 shares of the company’s stock worth $410,000 after purchasing an additional 482 shares during the last quarter. Deutsche Bank AG boosted its position in shares of Essential Utilities by 13.0% in the 3rd quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 555,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,598,000 after buying an additional 63,842 shares in the last quarter. First National Corp MA ADV grew its position in shares of Essential Utilities by 9.9% in the third quarter. First National Corp MA ADV now owns 125,684 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,792,000 after purchasing an additional 11,326 shares during the last quarter. Impax Asset Management Group plc raised its holdings in shares of Essential Utilities by 26.9% in the third quarter. Impax Asset Management Group plc now owns 5,531,290 shares of the company’s stock worth $254,882,000 after acquiring an additional 1,171,223 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Yousif Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Essential Utilities in the 4th quarter valued at about $6,580,000. 70.30% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Essential Utilities (NYSE:WTRG – Get Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 23rd. The company reported $0.44 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter. The business had revenue of $535.69 million for the quarter. Essential Utilities had a net margin of 22.98% and a return on equity of 8.65%. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.46 EPS. Research analysts predict that Essential Utilities will post 1.78 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 13th will be given a dividend of $0.268 per share. This represents a $1.07 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.40%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 12th. Essential Utilities’s dividend payout ratio is presently 64.07%.
Essential Utilities Company Profile (Get Rating)
Essential Utilities, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates regulated utilities that provide water, wastewater, or natural gas services in the United States. It offers water services through operating and maintenance contract 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 a third-party.
- Get a free copy of the StockNews.com research report on Essential Utilities (WTRG)
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