Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRG – Get Rating) has received a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” from the eight analysts that are presently covering the firm, Marketbeat reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, one has assigned a hold recommendation and five have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 1-year price objective among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $51.83.
A number of analysts have issued reports on the company. Bank of America lowered Essential Utilities from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $52.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Friday, September 9th. StockNews.com lowered Essential Utilities from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Evercore ISI lowered their price objective on Essential Utilities to $44.00 in a research note on Thursday, October 20th. HSBC upgraded Essential Utilities from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $53.00 to $57.00 in a research report on Thursday, August 18th. Finally, Robert W. Baird lifted their target price on Essential Utilities from $50.00 to $54.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, August 5th.
Institutional Trading of Essential Utilities
Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in WTRG. Millennium Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Essential Utilities by 66.4% during the 2nd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 2,438,189 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,791,000 after purchasing an additional 972,618 shares during the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can bought a new stake in shares of Essential Utilities in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $37,855,000. AEGON ASSET MANAGEMENT UK Plc grew its stake in shares of Essential Utilities by 94.1% in the 2nd quarter. AEGON ASSET MANAGEMENT UK Plc now owns 1,472,661 shares of the company’s stock valued at $67,507,000 after purchasing an additional 714,060 shares during the period. Amundi grew its stake in shares of Essential Utilities by 16.6% in the 2nd quarter. Amundi now owns 4,863,108 shares of the company’s stock valued at $223,720,000 after purchasing an additional 692,260 shares during the period. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. grew its stake in shares of Essential Utilities by 40.9% in the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 2,248,121 shares of the company’s stock valued at $103,076,000 after purchasing an additional 652,202 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 69.79% of the company’s stock.
Essential Utilities Stock Up 2.3 %
Essential Utilities Dividend Announcement
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 11th will be paid a $0.287 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 9th. This represents a $1.15 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.44%. Essential Utilities’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 64.97%.
Essential Utilities Company Profile
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.
- Get a free copy of the StockNews.com research report on Essential Utilities (WTRG)
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