Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRG) Given Consensus Rating of “Moderate Buy” by Analysts

Shares of Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRGGet Rating) have been assigned a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” from the nine ratings firms that are currently covering the stock, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The average 12-month price target among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $51.86.

WTRG has been the subject of several analyst reports. UBS Group upped their price objective on Essential Utilities from $45.00 to $52.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 29th. StockNews.com raised Essential Utilities from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 28th. Wells Fargo & Company upped their price objective on Essential Utilities to $53.00 in a research report on Wednesday, December 14th. Finally, Evercore ISI lowered their price objective on Essential Utilities to $44.00 in a research report on Thursday, October 20th.

Insider Buying and Selling at Essential Utilities

In other Essential Utilities news, Director Ellen T. Ruff sold 8,560 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.96, for a total transaction of $410,537.60. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 26,972 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,293,577.12. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.17% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Essential Utilities

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of WTRG. 1832 Asset Management L.P. purchased a new position in shares of Essential Utilities during the 1st quarter worth approximately $38,000. Hazlett Burt & Watson Inc. raised its stake in shares of Essential Utilities by 95.0% during the 3rd quarter. Hazlett Burt & Watson Inc. now owns 975 shares of the company’s stock worth $39,000 after buying an additional 475 shares in the last quarter. ACG Wealth purchased a new position in Essential Utilities in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $41,000. SOA Wealth Advisors LLC. increased its stake in Essential Utilities by 60.4% in the 3rd quarter. SOA Wealth Advisors LLC. now owns 1,073 shares of the company’s stock valued at $44,000 after purchasing an additional 404 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Selective Wealth Management Inc. increased its stake in Essential Utilities by 42.9% in the 2nd quarter. Selective Wealth Management Inc. now owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $46,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. 69.96% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Essential Utilities Price Performance

Shares of NYSE WTRG opened at $48.81 on Monday. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $47.14 and its two-hundred day moving average is $46.90. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.16, a current ratio of 0.64 and a quick ratio of 0.37. Essential Utilities has a 1-year low of $38.50 and a 1-year high of $52.62. The company has a market cap of $12.80 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.58, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.20 and a beta of 0.77.

Essential Utilities (NYSE:WTRGGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, November 7th. The company reported $0.26 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.23 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $434.62 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $376.00 million. Essential Utilities had a return on equity of 8.84% and a net margin of 22.04%. Analysts forecast that Essential Utilities will post 1.78 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Essential Utilities Announces Dividend

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.287 per share. This represents a $1.15 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.35%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 9th. Essential Utilities’s dividend payout ratio is presently 64.97%.

Essential Utilities Company Profile

(Get Rating)

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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Essential Utilities (NYSE:WTRG)

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