Middlesex Water (MSEX) Given Average Rating of “Strong Buy” by Analysts

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) has earned a consensus broker rating score of 1.00 (Strong Buy) from the one analysts that cover the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a strong buy recommendation. Middlesex Water’s rating score has improved by 66.7% from three months ago as a result of various analysts’ upgrades and downgrades.

Analysts have set a 1-year consensus target price of $66.00 for the company and are anticipating 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 33 out of 256 based on the ratings given to related companies.

Several analysts recently weighed in on MSEX shares. BidaskClub upgraded Middlesex Water from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 14th. Janney Montgomery Scott upgraded Middlesex Water from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the company from $58.00 to $66.00 in a research note on Wednesday, May 8th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Middlesex Water from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, February 12th.

Shares of NASDAQ MSEX traded down $0.35 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $58.90. 64,477 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 49,247. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 0.26 and a current ratio of 0.32. The firm has a market cap of $969.97 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.05 and a beta of 0.39. Middlesex Water has a fifty-two week low of $40.49 and a fifty-two week high of $63.67.

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

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 3rd. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 15th were paid a dividend of $0.24 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, May 14th. This represents a $0.96 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.63%. Middlesex Water’s payout ratio is 48.98%.

In related news, VP Lorrie Beth Ginegaw sold 720 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.21, for a total transaction of $40,471.20. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 6,445 shares in the company, valued at approximately $362,273.45. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Dennis W. Doll sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.85, for a total value of $115,700.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 8,053 shares of company stock valued at $481,020. 3.49% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Middlesex Water by 1.0% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,297,466 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $69,220,000 after acquiring an additional 12,770 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Middlesex Water by 4.3% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 961,798 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $46,571,000 after acquiring an additional 40,017 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its position in shares of Middlesex Water by 1.1% in the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 630,016 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $35,274,000 after acquiring an additional 6,859 shares during the period. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Middlesex Water by 7.6% in the 1st quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 245,858 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $13,766,000 after acquiring an additional 17,275 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in shares of Middlesex Water by 0.6% during the 1st quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 233,680 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $13,083,000 after buying an additional 1,393 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 54.62% of the company’s stock.

Middlesex Water Company Profile

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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