Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRG) Stock Position Raised by Victory Capital Management Inc.

Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRGGet Rating) by 16.4% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 356,438 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 50,329 shares during the quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Essential Utilities were worth $15,954,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. Gateway Investment Advisers LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Essential Utilities in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $319,000. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. lifted its position in Essential Utilities by 6.7% in the 4th quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 7,635 shares of the company’s stock worth $410,000 after buying an additional 482 shares in the last quarter. Allspring Global Investments Holdings LLC purchased a new stake in Essential Utilities in the 4th quarter worth approximately $1,014,000. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. lifted its position in Essential Utilities by 55.4% in the 1st quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 30,563 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,563,000 after buying an additional 10,900 shares in the last quarter. Finally, IndexIQ Advisors LLC lifted its position in Essential Utilities by 33.3% in the 4th quarter. IndexIQ Advisors LLC now owns 1,208 shares of the company’s stock worth $65,000 after buying an additional 302 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.30% of the company’s stock.

Essential Utilities Stock Performance

NYSE:WTRG opened at $50.73 on Friday. Essential Utilities, Inc. has a 1 year low of $40.97 and a 1 year high of $53.93. The firm’s fifty day simple moving average is $46.80 and its 200 day simple moving average is $47.22. The company has a current ratio of 0.65, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.12. The firm has a market capitalization of $12.87 billion, a PE ratio of 29.84, a PEG ratio of 4.76 and a beta of 0.70.

Essential Utilities (NYSE:WTRGGet Rating) last posted its earnings results on Monday, May 9th. The company reported $0.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.74 by $0.02. Essential Utilities had a net margin of 21.93% and a return on equity of 8.65%. The business had revenue of $699.30 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $617.07 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.72 EPS. Essential Utilities’s revenue was up 19.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Essential Utilities, Inc. will post 1.78 EPS for the current year.

Essential Utilities Increases Dividend

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 1st. Investors of record on Friday, August 12th will be paid a $0.287 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 11th. This is a positive change from Essential Utilities’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.27. This represents a $1.15 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.26%. Essential Utilities’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 62.94%.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

WTRG has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. HSBC downgraded shares of Essential Utilities from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Friday, April 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Barclays cut their target price on shares of Essential Utilities from $54.00 to $51.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, July 18th. Wells Fargo & Company increased their target price on shares of Essential Utilities from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 19th. Northcoast Research started coverage on shares of Essential Utilities in a research note on Monday, July 18th. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. Finally, Robert W. Baird increased their price target on shares of Essential Utilities from $50.00 to $54.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the stock has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $52.80.

Essential Utilities Company Profile

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Essential Utilities, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates regulated utilities that provide water, wastewater, or natural gas services in the United States. It offers water services through operating and maintenance contract with municipal authorities and other parties. The company also provides non-utility raw water supply services for firms in the natural gas drilling industry; and water and sewer line protection solutions, and repair services to households through a third-party.

See Also

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Essential Utilities (NYSE:WTRG)

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