SG Americas Securities LLC cut its holdings in shares of Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRG – Get Rating) by 80.0% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 13,925 shares of the company’s stock after selling 55,833 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC’s holdings in Essential Utilities were worth $576,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. 1832 Asset Management L.P. acquired a new position in shares of Essential Utilities during the first quarter worth $38,000. ACG Wealth acquired a new position in shares of Essential Utilities during the second quarter worth $41,000. Hazlett Burt & Watson Inc. increased its position in shares of Essential Utilities by 95.0% during the third quarter. Hazlett Burt & Watson Inc. now owns 975 shares of the company’s stock worth $39,000 after purchasing an additional 475 shares in the last quarter. Selective Wealth Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Essential Utilities by 42.9% during the second quarter. Selective Wealth Management Inc. now owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $46,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. Finally, SOA Wealth Advisors LLC. grew its holdings in shares of Essential Utilities by 60.4% during the third quarter. SOA Wealth Advisors LLC. now owns 1,073 shares of the company’s stock valued at $44,000 after buying an additional 404 shares during the last quarter. 69.96% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Insiders Place Their Bets
In other Essential Utilities news, Director Ellen T. Ruff sold 8,560 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.96, for a total value of $410,537.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 26,972 shares in the company, valued at $1,293,577.12. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.17% of the company’s stock.
Essential Utilities Price Performance
Essential Utilities (NYSE:WTRG – Get Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 7th. The company reported $0.26 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.23 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $434.62 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $376.00 million. Essential Utilities had a net margin of 22.04% and a return on equity of 8.84%. Research analysts expect that Essential Utilities, Inc. will post 1.78 EPS for the current year.
Essential Utilities Dividend Announcement
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 10th will be given a $0.287 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 9th. This represents a $1.15 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.47%. Essential Utilities’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 64.97%.
Analyst Ratings Changes
A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on WTRG. StockNews.com raised shares of Essential Utilities from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 28th. Wells Fargo & Company boosted their price objective on shares of Essential Utilities to $53.00 in a report on Wednesday, December 14th. UBS Group boosted their price objective on shares of Essential Utilities from $45.00 to $52.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 29th. Finally, Evercore ISI dropped their price objective on shares of Essential Utilities to $44.00 in a report on Thursday, October 20th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, the stock has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $51.86.
About Essential Utilities
Essential Utilities, Inc is a holding company, which engages in providing water, wastewater and natural gas services through its subsidiaries. It operates through the Regulated Water and Regulated Natural Gas segments. The Regulated Water segment includes water and wastewater regulated utility companies.
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