Baillie Gifford & Co. reduced its position in Waters Co. (NYSE:WAT) by 12.0% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 2,573,562 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock after selling 349,711 shares during the period. Baillie Gifford & Co. owned 3.29% of Waters worth $511,238,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in WAT. Banco de Sabadell S.A bought a new stake in Waters in the 4th quarter valued at about $193,000. Brown Advisory Securities LLC bought a new stake in Waters in the 4th quarter valued at about $202,000. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC bought a new stake in Waters in the 4th quarter valued at about $210,000. Trust Co. of Virginia VA bought a new stake in Waters in the 4th quarter valued at about $213,000. Finally, Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. bought a new stake in Waters in the 1st quarter valued at about $272,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 92.43% of the company’s stock.
In other news, SVP David Terricciano sold 1,523 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $208.80, for a total transaction of $318,002.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 3,273 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $683,402.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Christopher A. Kuebler sold 416 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $209.00, for a total value of $86,944.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 15,327 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,203,343. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 22,850 shares of company stock valued at $4,485,378 in the last three months. 0.98% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Waters (NYSE:WAT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 24th. The medical instruments supplier reported $1.59 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.55 by $0.04. Waters had a return on equity of 25.80% and a net margin of 1.14%. The company had revenue of $530.70 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $534.17 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.46 earnings per share. Waters’s revenue was up 6.6% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts expect that Waters Co. will post 8.21 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Waters declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Tuesday, April 24th that allows the company to buyback $3.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the medical instruments supplier to reacquire up to 18.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
A number of brokerages recently issued reports on WAT. Janney Montgomery Scott boosted their price objective on Waters from $200.00 to $230.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Robert W. Baird lifted their target price on Waters from $219.00 to $220.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. William Blair reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of Waters in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Citigroup lifted their target price on Waters from $190.00 to $223.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Finally, Barclays lifted their target price on Waters from $202.00 to $208.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Thirteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Waters currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $207.31.
Waters Company Profile
Waters Corporation, a specialty measurement company, provides analytical workflow solutions in the United States, Europe, Asia, and internationally. It designs, manufactures, sells, and services high and ultra performance liquid chromatography technology, as well as mass spectrometry (MS) technology systems and support products, including chromatography columns, other consumable products, and post-warranty service plans.
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