Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA grew its stake in Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) by 4.4% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 392,783 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 16,667 shares during the quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA owned about 0.22% of Aqua America worth $13,378,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management acquired a new position in shares of Aqua America in the 4th quarter valued at $139,000. Community Bank N.A. lifted its stake in shares of Aqua America by 122.4% in the 1st quarter. Community Bank N.A. now owns 5,170 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $176,000 after purchasing an additional 2,845 shares during the period. Sigma Planning Corp acquired a new position in shares of Aqua America in the 4th quarter valued at $200,000. Telemus Capital LLC acquired a new position in shares of Aqua America in the 4th quarter valued at $204,000. Finally, Ironwood Investment Counsel LLC acquired a new position in shares of Aqua America in the 4th quarter valued at $205,000. 54.32% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Several analysts recently commented on the company. ValuEngine raised Aqua America from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, May 4th. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Aqua America in a research note on Tuesday, April 24th. UBS assumed coverage on Aqua America in a research note on Thursday, March 8th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $36.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Aqua America from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Sunday, January 21st. Finally, Wells Fargo downgraded Aqua America from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $43.00 to $37.00 in a research note on Monday, February 26th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. Aqua America currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $38.29.
Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.29 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.29. Aqua America had a return on equity of 12.60% and a net margin of 29.59%. The business had revenue of $194.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $193.19 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.28 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts expect that Aqua America will post 1.4 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a jun 18 dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 18th will be paid a $0.2047 dividend. This represents a dividend yield of 2.35%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 17th. Aqua America’s dividend payout ratio is 59.85%.
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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