American Water Works (AWK) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

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American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Shares of American Water Works have outperformed its industry in the past 12 months. American Water Works reported mixed results in the first quarter, with earnings lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate, while revenues beating the same. The company continues to add water and wastewater customers, as well as expand its market reach through acquisitions and organic growth. The planned capital expenditure within 2019-2023 time period for improving its water and wastewater systems will enable the company to provide efficient services to the expanding customer base. New rates are boosting the top line of the company. However, the company is subject to stringent regulations, fluctuating weather patterns and risk of accidents due to old and soiled pipelines. High debt level of the company is a headwind.”

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on the stock. Boenning Scattergood restated a “hold” rating on shares of American Water Works in a research note on Thursday. Janney Montgomery Scott restated a “buy” rating and issued a $121.00 price target (up previously from $102.00) on shares of American Water Works in a research note on Thursday. Wells Fargo & Co lowered shares of American Water Works from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $111.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, March 26th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Bank of America raised their price target on shares of American Water Works from $92.00 to $103.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 21st. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. American Water Works currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $106.29.

Shares of NYSE:AWK traded up $0.09 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $106.77. The stock had a trading volume of 2,524 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,035,636. American Water Works has a 1-year low of $77.73 and a 1-year high of $108.32. The firm has a market capitalization of $19.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 32.30, a PEG ratio of 3.74 and a beta of 0.25. The company has a current ratio of 0.37, a quick ratio of 0.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.29.

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.63 by ($0.02). American Water Works had a net margin of 16.48% and a return on equity of 10.36%. The firm had revenue of $813.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $792.73 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.59 EPS. American Water Works’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that American Water Works will post 3.58 EPS for the current year.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Larson Financial Group LLC purchased a new stake in shares of American Water Works in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $28,000. Ruggie Capital Group purchased a new stake in shares of American Water Works in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $31,000. Capital Financial Planning LLC purchased a new stake in shares of American Water Works in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $31,000. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of American Water Works in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $32,000. Finally, JNBA Financial Advisors purchased a new stake in shares of American Water Works in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $32,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.39% of the company’s stock.

About American Water Works

American Water Works Company, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides water and wastewater services in the United States and Canada. It offers water and wastewater services to approximately 1,600 communities in 16 states serving approximately 3.4 million active customers. The company serves residential customers; commercial customers, such as food and beverage providers, commercial property developers and proprietors, and energy suppliers; fire service and private fire customers; industrial customers, such as large-scale manufacturers, mining, and production operations; public authorities comprising government buildings and other public sector facilities; and other utilities and community water and wastewater systems.

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