American Water Works (AWK) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Thursday morning.

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.”

AWK has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Northcoast Research initiated coverage on American Water Works in a research report on Thursday, May 25th. They set a neutral rating on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded American Water Works from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Finally, Vetr downgraded American Water Works from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $84.04 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, June 14th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $82.86.

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) opened at 82.68 on Thursday. American Water Works has a 52-week low of $69.41 and a 52-week high of $83.06. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $81.51 and its 200 day moving average price is $79.10. The company has a market cap of $14.74 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.21 and a beta of 0.25.

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) last announced its quarterly earnings data 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). American Water Works had a return on equity of 9.70% and a net margin of 14.20%. The company had revenue of $844.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $869.52 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.77 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that American Water Works will post $3.01 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, August 9th were paid a dividend of $0.415 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, August 7th. This represents a $1.66 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.01%. American Water Works’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 62.64%.

In other news, COO Walter Lynch sold 3,335 shares of American Water Works stock in a transaction on Monday, August 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $82.05, for a total value of $273,636.75. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 94,702 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,770,299.10. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Insiders own 0.34% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of AWK. Nationwide Fund Advisors grew its stake in shares of American Water Works by 12.5% in the first quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 54,767 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,259,000 after buying an additional 6,071 shares in the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. grew its stake in shares of American Water Works by 17.8% in the first quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 9,366 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $728,000 after buying an additional 1,415 shares in the last quarter. World Asset Management Inc grew its stake in shares of American Water Works by 10.4% in the first quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 18,294 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,423,000 after buying an additional 1,723 shares in the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. grew its stake in shares of American Water Works by 8.6% in the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 983,569 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $76,492,000 after buying an additional 77,797 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sei Investments Co. grew its stake in shares of American Water Works by 12.5% in the first quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 124,636 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $9,693,000 after buying an additional 13,805 shares in the last quarter. 79.77% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

American Water Works Company Profile

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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