American Water Works (AWK) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Thursday, September 14th.

According to Zacks, “Year to date shares of American Water Works Company have gained higher than the industry. American Water Works continues to add customers and expand its market reach through acquisitions and organic growth. Year to date, the water utility has added 22,000 customers through closed acquisitions and organic growth. Thanks to its ongoing capital expenditure we expect the company to improve its water and wastewater systems, providing efficient services to its expanding customer base.  Unimpressive performance in the market-based businesses has proved detrimental to the company’s earnings. It is subject to stringent regulations, fluctuating weather patterns and risk of accidents due to old and soiled pipelines.”

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on AWK. BidaskClub cut shares of American Water Works from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Northcoast Research initiated coverage on shares of American Water Works in a report on Thursday, May 25th. They issued a neutral rating on the stock. Finally, Vetr cut shares of American Water Works from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $84.04 target price on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, June 14th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $82.86.

American Water Works (AWK) opened at 82.03 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $14.62 billion, a PE ratio of 30.97 and a beta of 0.25. The company has a 50-day moving average of $81.58 and a 200-day moving average of $79.19. American Water Works has a 52 week low of $69.41 and a 52 week high of $83.14.

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by ($0.07). The company had revenue of $844.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $869.52 million. American Water Works had a return on equity of 9.70% and a net margin of 14.20%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.77 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that American Water Works will post $3.00 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 9th were given a $0.415 dividend. This represents a $1.66 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.02%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 7th. American Water Works’s payout ratio is currently 62.64%.

In related news, COO Walter Lynch sold 3,335 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.05, for a total value of $273,636.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 94,702 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,770,299.10. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.34% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of American Water Works by 349.5% in the 2nd quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 1,344 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $105,000 after purchasing an additional 1,045 shares during the last quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC raised its position in American Water Works by 24.7% during the 1st quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 1,482 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 294 shares during the last quarter. Pinebridge Investments L.P. purchased a new position in American Water Works during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $118,000. Van ECK Associates Corp raised its position in American Water Works by 18.0% during the 1st quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 1,548 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $120,000 after buying an additional 236 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Peddock Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new position in American Water Works during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $131,000. 79.77% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About American Water Works

American Water Works Company, Inc is a holding company for regulated and market-based subsidiaries throughout the United States and Ontario, Canada. The Company’s Regulated Businesses segment provides water and wastewater services as public utilities in 16 states in the United States as of December 31, 2016.

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Analyst Recommendations for American Water Works (NYSE:AWK)

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