American States Water (AWR) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

American States Water (NYSE:AWR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “In a year’s time, shares of American States Water have outperformed its industry’s rally. The company’s strength lies in its extensive water rights and strong credit ratings. The company makes systematic investments to strengthen the existing infrastructure and pay regular dividend, owing to its strong cash flow generation capacity.  In addition, new water rates will help boost its margins. American States Water’s earnings per share and total revenues in the first quarter were lower than expected. American States Water’s main drawback is its heavy dependence on a single state, California, for majority of its earnings. Plus, the company’s highly-regulated operations and risk of water contamination leading to an increase in operating costs could adversely impact its results. Aging water infrastructure is also a concern.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on AWR. UBS initiated coverage on shares of American States Water in a research note on Thursday, March 8th. They issued a “sell” rating and a $42.00 price target on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of American States Water from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. American States Water currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $51.00.

Shares of NYSE:AWR traded up $0.17 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $55.22. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,281 shares, compared to its average volume of 302,304. The company has a market capitalization of $2.01 billion, a PE ratio of 32.29, a P/E/G ratio of 6.19 and a beta of 0.39. American States Water has a 12-month low of $44.12 and a 12-month high of $60.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 0.74 and a quick ratio of 0.72.

American States Water (NYSE:AWR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, May 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.29 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.34 by ($0.05). The firm had revenue of $94.73 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $94.52 million. American States Water had a return on equity of 12.92% and a net margin of 15.45%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.34 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that American States Water will post 1.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other American States Water news, Director Lloyd E. Ross sold 1,100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.59, for a total transaction of $57,849.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 49,694 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,613,407.46. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP James C. Cotton III sold 734 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.54, for a total transaction of $37,830.36. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 7,403 shares in the company, valued at approximately $381,550.62. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 4,381 shares of company stock worth $226,446 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 1.41% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Front Row Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of American States Water during the 4th quarter valued at about $116,000. Bruderman Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of American States Water during the 1st quarter valued at about $126,000. Sei Investments Co. increased its position in shares of American States Water by 181.2% during the 1st quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 2,714 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $144,000 after purchasing an additional 1,749 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new stake in shares of American States Water during the 1st quarter valued at about $176,000. Finally, Hoylecohen LLC purchased a new stake in shares of American States Water during the 4th quarter valued at about $220,000. 70.20% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About American States Water

American States Water Company, through its subsidiaries, provides water and electric services to residential, industrial, and other customers in the United States. It operates through three segments: Water, Electric, and Contracted Services. The company purchases, produces, distributes, and sells water, as well as distributes electricity.

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