Stanley Laman Group Ltd. boosted its position in shares of Aqua America Inc (NYSE:WTR) by 3.2% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 34,887 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 1,069 shares during the period. Stanley Laman Group Ltd.’s holdings in Aqua America were worth $1,443,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Aqua America by 0.8% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 17,157,997 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $625,238,000 after buying an additional 140,328 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Aqua America by 6.1% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,761,248 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $60,217,000 after purchasing an additional 101,342 shares during the period. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Aqua America by 21.7% in the first quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,745,986 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $63,623,000 after purchasing an additional 311,577 shares during the period. Ronna Sue Cohen increased its holdings in shares of Aqua America by 3,399.3% in the first quarter. Ronna Sue Cohen now owns 1,618,826 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,619,000 after purchasing an additional 1,572,564 shares during the period. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP increased its holdings in shares of Aqua America by 0.3% in the second quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 1,156,418 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $47,841,000 after purchasing an additional 3,838 shares during the period. 49.58% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
WTR has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Macquarie set a $37.00 target price on Aqua America and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, April 22nd. Evercore ISI reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $37.00 target price on shares of Aqua America in a report on Sunday. Janney Montgomery Scott reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $44.00 target price (up previously from $41.00) on shares of Aqua America in a report on Monday, May 6th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. ValuEngine lowered Aqua America from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, April 18th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Aqua America from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $41.40.
Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.37 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.39 by ($0.02). Aqua America had a return on equity of 10.13% and a net margin of 17.18%. The business had revenue of $218.90 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $221.07 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.37 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Aqua America Inc will post 1.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, September 1st. Investors of record on Friday, August 16th will be issued a dividend of $0.2343 per share. This represents a $0.94 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 15th. This is a positive change from Aqua America’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. Aqua America’s dividend payout ratio is currently 62.41%.
About Aqua America
Aqua America, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates regulated utilities that provide water or wastewater services in the United States. It offers water services through operating and maintenance contracts with municipal authorities and other parties. The company also provides non-utility raw water supply services for firms in the natural gas drilling industry; and water and sewer line protection solutions, and repair services to households through third-party.
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