Zacks: Analysts Set $66.00 Price Target for Middlesex Water (MSEX)

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) has received an average broker rating score of 1.00 (Strong Buy) from the one brokers that provide coverage for the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a strong buy rating. Middlesex Water’s rating score has improved by 66.7% from three months ago as a result of a number of analysts’ ratings changes.

Brokers have set a twelve-month consensus price objective of $66.00 for the company and are predicting that the company will post $0.55 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Middlesex Water an industry rank of 7 out of 256 based on the ratings given to related companies.

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on MSEX shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Middlesex Water from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 15th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Middlesex Water from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 30th. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott raised shares of Middlesex Water from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $58.00 to $66.00 in a report on Wednesday, May 8th.

Shares of NASDAQ:MSEX opened at $60.60 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $985.47 million, a P/E ratio of 30.92 and a beta of 0.43. Middlesex Water has a 52 week low of $40.08 and a 52 week high of $60.67. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 0.27 and a current ratio of 0.32.

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) last issued its earnings results on Monday, May 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.39 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.31 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $30.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.00 million. Middlesex Water had a net margin of 25.05% and a return on equity of 14.01%. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Middlesex Water will post 2.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 3rd. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 15th will be issued a $0.24 dividend. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.58%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 14th. Middlesex Water’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 48.98%.

In other Middlesex Water news, VP Bernadette M. Sohler sold 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.85, for a total value of $28,925.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Dennis W. Doll sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.85, for a total transaction of $115,700.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 3,226 shares of company stock worth $185,439. Insiders own 3.49% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Legal & General Group Plc grew its holdings in Middlesex Water by 10.4% in the 4th quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 2,892 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $154,000 after acquiring an additional 273 shares during the last quarter. ETF Managers Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Middlesex Water by 11.0% during the 1st quarter. ETF Managers Group LLC now owns 3,941 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $221,000 after purchasing an additional 390 shares in the last quarter. Trust Co. of Vermont bought a new stake in shares of Middlesex Water during the 4th quarter valued at about $25,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its stake in shares of Middlesex Water by 95.7% during the 1st quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,376 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $77,000 after purchasing an additional 673 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Quantamental Technologies LLC bought a new stake in shares of Middlesex Water during the 4th quarter valued at about $41,000. 55.07% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Middlesex Water

Middlesex Water Company, together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates regulated water utility and wastewater systems. It operates in two segments, Regulated and Non-Regulated. The Regulated segment engages in collecting, treating, and distributing water on a retail and wholesale basis to residential, commercial, industrial, and fire protection customers in parts of New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

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