Middlesex Water (MSEX) Raised to “Buy” at Janney Montgomery Scott

Janney Montgomery Scott upgraded shares of Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Wednesday, May 8th, Benzinga reports. They currently have $66.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock, up from their previous target price of $58.00.

MSEX has been the topic of several other reports. Zacks Investment Research cut Middlesex Water from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 8th. BidaskClub cut Middlesex Water from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 30th.

Shares of MSEX stock opened at $59.16 on Wednesday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.26, a current ratio of 0.32 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. The company has a market capitalization of $976.58 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.18 and a beta of 0.43. 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 announced its earnings results on Monday, May 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.39 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.31 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $30.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $32.00 million. Middlesex Water had a return on equity of 14.01% and a net margin of 25.05%. On average, equities analysts predict that Middlesex Water will post 2.17 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 3rd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, May 15th will be paid a $0.24 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 14th. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.62%. Middlesex Water’s dividend payout ratio is currently 48.98%.

In other news, CEO Dennis W. Doll sold 3,127 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.33, for a total transaction of $191,778.91. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 59,011 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,619,144.63. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO A Bruce Oconnor sold 1,700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.06, for a total value of $103,802.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 19,155 shares in the company, valued at $1,169,604.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 8,053 shares of company stock worth $481,020. Insiders own 3.49% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its holdings in shares of Middlesex Water by 10.4% during the fourth quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 2,892 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $154,000 after purchasing an additional 273 shares in the last quarter. ETF Managers Group LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Middlesex Water by 11.0% during the first 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 position in shares of Middlesex Water during the fourth quarter valued at $25,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its holdings in shares of Middlesex Water by 95.7% during the first 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, Zebra Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Middlesex Water by 15.7% in the first quarter. Zebra Capital Management LLC now owns 5,013 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $281,000 after acquiring an additional 679 shares during the period. 54.78% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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