California Public Employees Retirement System grew its position in Aqua America Inc (NYSE:WTR) by 6.0% in the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 299,454 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 16,839 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System owned 0.17% of Aqua America worth $10,912,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc grew its stake in Aqua America by 1.4% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 18,400,307 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $678,972,000 after buying an additional 256,460 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Aqua America by 2.5% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 17,017,669 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $581,834,000 after purchasing an additional 422,132 shares during the period. Impax Asset Management Group plc grew its holdings in shares of Aqua America by 21.5% during the 4th quarter. Impax Asset Management Group plc now owns 2,693,820 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $92,102,000 after purchasing an additional 476,398 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund lifted its stake in Aqua America by 3,319.0% during the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 2,390,838 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $70,000 after acquiring an additional 2,320,910 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in Aqua America by 6.1% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,761,248 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $60,217,000 after acquiring an additional 101,342 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 47.60% of the company’s stock.
A number of research firms have issued reports on WTR. Argus boosted their price target on Aqua America from $2.00 to $43.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 5th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Janney Montgomery Scott reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $44.00 price objective (up previously from $41.00) on shares of Aqua America in a research note on Monday, May 6th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Aqua America from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 23rd. Macquarie set a $37.00 price objective on shares of Aqua America and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, April 22nd. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of Aqua America from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 18th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $40.00.
Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.30 by ($0.02). Aqua America had a net margin of 18.71% and a return on equity of 12.40%. The firm had revenue of $201.10 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $201.17 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.29 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Aqua America Inc will post 1.49 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Saturday, June 1st. Investors of record on Friday, May 17th were issued a $0.219 dividend. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.11%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 16th. Aqua America’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 62.41%.
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Aqua America Profile
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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