Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRG) Receives Average Recommendation of “Buy” from Analysts

Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRGGet Rating) has received an average recommendation of “Buy” from the eight analysts that are presently covering the stock, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and four have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12-month price target among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $51.67.

A number of research firms have recently commented on WTRG. Wells Fargo & Company increased their target price on Essential Utilities from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 19th. StockNews.com raised shares of Essential Utilities from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 16th. Barclays raised their price target on shares of Essential Utilities from $51.00 to $52.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 15th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Essential Utilities from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $49.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, April 27th. Finally, HSBC lowered shares of Essential Utilities from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Friday, April 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call.

NYSE:WTRG opened at $46.41 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $11.77 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.14, a P/E/G ratio of 4.16 and a beta of 0.70. Essential Utilities has a 52 week low of $42.03 and a 52 week high of $53.93. The firm’s fifty day moving average is $47.77 and its 200-day moving average is $48.39. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.12, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a current ratio of 0.65.

Essential Utilities (NYSE:WTRGGet Rating) last posted its earnings results on Monday, May 9th. The company reported $0.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $699.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $617.07 million. Essential Utilities had a return on equity of 8.77% and a net margin of 22.43%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 19.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.72 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Essential Utilities will post 1.79 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 1st. Investors of record on Friday, May 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.268 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 12th. This represents a $1.07 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.31%. Essential Utilities’s payout ratio is 62.57%.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of WTRG. Hazlett Burt & Watson Inc. bought a new position in Essential Utilities in the 1st quarter valued at $25,000. Sageworth Trust Co of South Dakota acquired a new stake in Essential Utilities during the 4th quarter worth approximately $26,000. Newbridge Financial Services Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Essential Utilities by 191.6% in the fourth quarter. Newbridge Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 522 shares of the company’s stock valued at $28,000 after purchasing an additional 343 shares during the last quarter. FSB Premier Wealth Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Essential Utilities in the fourth quarter valued at $29,000. Finally, Concord Wealth Partners bought a new position in shares of Essential Utilities in the fourth quarter valued at $31,000. 70.30% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Essential Utilities (NYSE:WTRG)

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