American States Water (NYSE:AWR) Short Interest Up 69.4% in May

American States Water (NYSE:AWRGet Rating) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest during the month of May. As of May 15th, there was short interest totalling 1,050,000 shares, an increase of 69.4% from the April 30th total of 619,900 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 201,600 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 5.2 days. Currently, 2.9% of the shares of the company are short sold.

NYSE:AWR traded up $1.10 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $79.69. 121,243 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 192,796. American States Water has a one year low of $74.77 and a one year high of $103.77. The company has a market capitalization of $2.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.07 and a beta of 0.29. The business has a 50-day moving average price of $82.97 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $89.30. The company has a current ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.74 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88.

American States Water (NYSE:AWRGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.54 by ($0.16). The company had revenue of $108.57 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $122.00 million. American States Water had a net margin of 18.20% and a return on equity of 13.14%. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.52 EPS. Sell-side analysts forecast that American States Water will post 2.59 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 1st. Investors of record on Monday, May 16th will be given a dividend of $0.365 per share. This represents a $1.46 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.83%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 13th. American States Water’s payout ratio is 60.58%.

In other American States Water news, insider Bryan K. Switzer sold 2,645 shares of American States Water stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.93, for a total value of $211,414.85. Following the sale, the insider now owns 6,630 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $529,935.90. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.92% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of AWR. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of American States Water by 5.5% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,545,006 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $677,017,000 after purchasing an additional 340,333 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in American States Water by 1.4% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,556,750 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $405,643,000 after acquiring an additional 63,608 shares in the last quarter. Pictet Asset Management SA raised its holdings in American States Water by 0.6% in the 4th quarter. Pictet Asset Management SA now owns 1,067,087 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $110,379,000 after acquiring an additional 5,954 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP raised its holdings in American States Water by 7.9% in the 1st quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 1,048,366 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $93,326,000 after acquiring an additional 76,476 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Invesco Ltd. raised its holdings in American States Water by 1.5% in the 3rd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 771,231 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $65,957,000 after acquiring an additional 11,694 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.04% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages have weighed in on AWR. Wells Fargo & Company cut their price target on American States Water from $94.00 to $86.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, February 24th. StockNews.com initiated coverage on shares of American States Water in a research note on Thursday, March 31st. They set a “hold” rating for the company. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of American States Water from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $90.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Monday, April 18th. Finally, Barclays decreased their price target on shares of American States Water from $86.00 to $85.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, March 15th.

About American States Water (Get Rating)

American States Water Company, through its subsidiaries, provides water and electric services to residential, commercial, 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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