Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRG) has been in the public eye lately as Janney Montgomery Scott LLC recently announced that it has cut its stake in the company by 2.6% in the fourth quarter. According to the most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC owned approximately 0.06% of Essential Utilities worth $7,625,000 after selling 4,268 shares during the same period.
Despite this announcement, analysts have still expressed interest in Essential Utilities’ performance on the stock market. StockNews.com updated their ratings of Essential Utilities from “sell” to “hold” earlier this month while UBS Group raised their neutral rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $54.00 to $55.00 back in February of this year.
However, Wells Fargo & Company dropped their price objective on shares of Essential Utilities from $53.00 to $52.00 and set an overweight rating for the stock back in February as well.
The company’s market capitalization is currently at $11.47 billion with a P/E ratio of 24.50 and a beta of 0.79. Shares opened at $43.37 today while Essential Utilities’ 50-day moving average price is at $43.55 and its 200-day moving average price is at $45.
Despite mixed reception among analysts regarding its overall potential, Bloomberg.com data reveals that Essential Utilities currently holds an average rating of “Moderate Buy” with a consensus price target of $52.38.
Essential Utilities continues exchanges on NYSE WTRG today as it approaches sustained success and development within competitive markets during these trying times for investors around the globe according to available financial reports so far this year.
In summary, although there may be some uncertainty surrounding Essential Utilities’ performance on Wall Street due to fluctuations within its stakeholder base, the company still holds potential for future success as it expands its reach throughout the industry.
Essential Utilities Attracts Attention of Institutional Investors and Hedge Funds
Essential Utilities is a company that has garnered the attention of institutional investors and hedge funds due to its recent performances in the stock market. American Century Companies Inc., Natixis Advisors L.P., Dimensional Fund Advisors LP, Aviva PLC and Allianz Asset Management GmbH are among some of the largest investors in the company. These investors have made gains by adding to or reducing their stakes in Essential Utilities.
There is no doubt that this company has caught the eye of many serious investors. One notable event was when CEO Chris Franklin acquired 37,245 shares for $1,515,871.50. The insider purchase was highly publicized as it demonstrated confidence from within, regarding the future success of this company.
Analysts had some mixed views on Essential Utilities with StockNews.com upgrading shares from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. On the other hand, Royal Bank of Canada reissued an “outperform” rating and placed a $54.00 price objective on shares of Essential Utilities.
Although some analysts are not entirely convinced about this stock’s performance, Essential Utilities is doing relatively well financially as it reported earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter at $0.44 but fell short of consensus estimate by ($0.01). Also noteworthy is that during the same period last year, EPS was posted at $0.44 hence demonstrating growth since then.
Those who own shares of Essential Utilities will also be excited to know that there will be a quarterly dividend paid out on June 1st to shareholders who held shares on May 12th – indicating steady financial performance.- However; it’s important to note that dividend payout ratio currently sits at 64.97% indicating caution should be observed as free cash flow could potentially dry up if margins decrease substantially.
Overall, these developments present both positive and mixed sentiments about this particular stock affecting investors’ confidence levels differently. Time will tell how future quarterly reports affect this ongoing situation.