American States Water (AWR) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of American States Water (NYSE:AWR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Monday, January 8th.

According to Zacks, “Shares of American States Water have outperformed the industry in the last 12 months.  The company’s strength lies in an expanding customer base, extensive water rights and strong credit ratings. Further, it makes systematic investments to strengthen the existing infrastructure. In addition, new water rates will help boost its margins. American States Water’s main drawback is its heavy dependence on a single state, California, for majority of its earnings. Plus, the company’s highly-regulated operations and risk of water contamination leading to an increase in operating costs could adversely impact its results. “

Separately, Wells Fargo & Co lowered shares of American States Water from a market perform rating to an underperform rating and set a $48.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, December 18th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $50.67.

Shares of American States Water (AWR) traded down $0.34 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $54.92. 253,200 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 227,889. The company has a quick ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. American States Water has a 12-month low of $41.14 and a 12-month high of $58.44. The firm has a market cap of $2,014.42, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.01, a P/E/G ratio of 7.70 and a beta of 0.49.

American States Water (NYSE:AWR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, November 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.58 by ($0.01). American States Water had a net margin of 15.28% and a return on equity of 13.34%. The business had revenue of $124.40 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $145.78 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.59 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts expect that American States Water will post 1.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Anne M. Holloway sold 1,000 shares of American States Water stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.00, for a total transaction of $55,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 38,399 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,111,945. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Lloyd E. Ross sold 1,100 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.79, for a total transaction of $61,369.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 50,706 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,828,887.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 5,025 shares of company stock valued at $279,898. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AWR. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in American States Water by 6.0% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 210,657 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $9,988,000 after purchasing an additional 11,882 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its position in shares of American States Water by 59.2% in the 2nd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 13,514 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $641,000 after buying an additional 5,023 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of American States Water by 8.1% in the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 17,203 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $816,000 after buying an additional 1,285 shares in the last quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp acquired a new position in shares of American States Water in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $213,000. Finally, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of American States Water in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $418,000. 64.98% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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American States Water Company Profile

American States Water Company (AWR) is a holding company. The Company is the parent company of Golden State Water Company (GSWC) and American States Utility Services, Inc (ASUS), as well as ASUS’ subsidiaries, such as Fort Bliss Water Services Company (FBWS), Terrapin Utility Services, Inc (TUS), Old Dominion Utility Services, Inc (ODUS), Palmetto State Utility Services, Inc (PSUS) and Old North Utility Services, Inc (ONUS).

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