Aqua America Inc (NYSE:WTR) Holdings Increased by Swiss National Bank
Swiss National Bank grew its holdings in shares of Aqua America Inc (NYSE:WTR) by 3.1% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 324,273 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 9,700 shares during the period. Swiss National Bank’s holdings in Aqua America were worth $11,817,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the business. Vanguard Group Inc raised its stake in Aqua America by 1.4% in the third 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 period. Strs Ohio bought a new stake in Aqua America in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $375,000. Rhumbline Advisers raised its stake in Aqua America by 40.1% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 468,184 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $16,007,000 after buying an additional 134,013 shares during the period. ETF Managers Group LLC raised its stake in Aqua America by 19.6% in the fourth quarter. ETF Managers Group LLC now owns 3,955 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $135,000 after buying an additional 648 shares during the period. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its position in shares of Aqua America by 3,319.0% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 2,390,838 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $70,000 after purchasing an additional 2,320,910 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 47.60% of the company’s stock.
WTR has been the topic of several research reports. Macquarie set a $37.00 target price on Aqua America and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, April 22nd. ValuEngine downgraded Aqua America from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 18th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Aqua America from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 23rd. UBS Group raised Aqua America from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the company from $36.00 to $42.00 in a research report on Tuesday, March 19th. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $44.00 target price (up previously from $41.00) on shares of Aqua America in a research report on Monday, May 6th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. Aqua America presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $40.00.
Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.28 EPS for the quarter, missing the 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 during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $201.17 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.29 EPS. Aqua America’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Aqua America Inc will post 1.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Saturday, June 1st. Investors of record on Friday, May 17th were given a dividend of $0.219 per share. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.14%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 16th. 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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