Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRG) Stock Holdings Increased by Franklin Resources Inc.

Franklin Resources Inc. increased its holdings in Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRGGet Rating) by 40.9% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 2,248,121 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 652,202 shares during the quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. owned 0.89% of Essential Utilities worth $103,076,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Hazlett Burt & Watson Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Essential Utilities during the first quarter valued at approximately $25,000. MCF Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Essential Utilities during the first quarter valued at approximately $38,000. 1832 Asset Management L.P. acquired a new stake in shares of Essential Utilities during the first quarter valued at approximately $38,000. Herold Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Essential Utilities during the first quarter valued at approximately $41,000. Finally, ACG Wealth acquired a new stake in shares of Essential Utilities during the second quarter valued at approximately $41,000. 69.79% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Essential Utilities Stock Performance

Shares of WTRG opened at $48.30 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.16, a quick ratio of 0.37 and a current ratio of 0.64. The company has a market capitalization of $12.67 billion, a PE ratio of 27.29, a PEG ratio of 4.38 and a beta of 0.77. Essential Utilities, Inc. has a 52 week low of $38.50 and a 52 week high of $53.93. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $43.70 and its 200 day moving average price is $46.18.

Essential Utilities Announces Dividend

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 11th will be given a $0.287 dividend. This represents a $1.15 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.38%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 9th. Essential Utilities’s dividend payout ratio is 64.97%.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

A number of equities research analysts have recently issued reports on WTRG shares. Bank of America lowered shares of Essential Utilities from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $52.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Friday, September 9th. Robert W. Baird boosted their price target on shares of Essential Utilities from $50.00 to $54.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, August 5th. HSBC upgraded shares of Essential Utilities from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $53.00 to $57.00 in a report on Thursday, August 18th. StockNews.com raised shares of Essential Utilities from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday. Finally, Evercore ISI lowered their price objective on shares of Essential Utilities to $44.00 in a research report on Thursday, October 20th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, Essential Utilities presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $51.83.

Essential Utilities Company Profile

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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.

See Also

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Essential Utilities (NYSE:WTRG)

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