Van ECK Associates Corp trimmed its holdings in shares of Aqua America Inc (NYSE:WTR) by 18.5% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 5,723 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 1,297 shares during the period. Van ECK Associates Corp’s holdings in Aqua America were worth $196,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A number of other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in WTR. Ruggie Capital Group purchased a new stake in Aqua America during the 4th quarter worth $26,000. Bell Rock Capital LLC boosted its position in Aqua America by 308.3% during the 4th quarter. Bell Rock Capital LLC now owns 1,327 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $45,000 after purchasing an additional 1,002 shares during the period. First Command Bank purchased a new stake in Aqua America during the 4th quarter worth $46,000. First Command Financial Services Inc. purchased a new stake in Aqua America during the 4th quarter worth $46,000. Finally, Litman Gregory Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Aqua America during the 4th quarter worth $48,000. 55.67% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

NYSE:WTR opened at $35.96 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.19, a current ratio of 0.37 and a quick ratio of 0.33. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.50, a PEG ratio of 4.00 and a beta of 0.46. Aqua America Inc has a 1-year low of $32.09 and a 1-year high of $38.24.

Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, February 18th. The utilities provider reported $0.31 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.32 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $205.75 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $212.50 million. Aqua America had a net margin of 22.91% and a return on equity of 12.49%. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Aqua America Inc will post 1.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a mar 19 dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 15th were given a $0.219 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 14th. This represents a yield of 2.5%. Aqua America’s payout ratio is currently 62.41%.

A number of analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Robert W. Baird raised shares of Aqua America from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $39.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, December 6th. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 price target on shares of Aqua America in a research report on Wednesday, January 30th. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Aqua America in a research report on Tuesday, February 5th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $37.80.

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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 and wastewater 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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Aqua America (NYSE:WTR)

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