Essential Utilities’ (WTRG) “Outperform” Rating Reaffirmed at Royal Bank of Canada

Essential Utilities (NYSE:WTRGGet Rating)‘s stock had its “outperform” rating reaffirmed by stock analysts at Royal Bank of Canada in a research note issued on Thursday, Benzinga reports. They presently have a $54.00 target price on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada’s price objective points to a potential upside of 26.88% from the stock’s current price.

Several other research firms also recently weighed in on WTRG. UBS Group upgraded shares of Essential Utilities from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $54.00 to $55.00 in a research report on Monday, February 6th. Wells Fargo & Company reduced their price target on shares of Essential Utilities from $53.00 to $52.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, February 28th. Finally, started coverage on shares of Essential Utilities in a research report on Thursday. They set a “hold” rating for the company. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $52.38.

Essential Utilities Trading Down 1.2 %

WTRG stock opened at $42.56 on Thursday. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $45.53 and its 200-day simple moving average is $45.69. The company has a quick ratio of 0.45, a current ratio of 0.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18. Essential Utilities has a 52-week low of $38.50 and a 52-week high of $52.62. The firm has a market cap of $11.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.05, a PEG ratio of 3.81 and a beta of 0.78.

Essential Utilities (NYSE:WTRGGet Rating) last posted its earnings results on Monday, February 27th. The company reported $0.44 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.45 by ($0.01). Essential Utilities had a return on equity of 8.73% and a net margin of 20.33%. The firm had revenue of $705.40 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $578.00 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.44 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 31.7% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Essential Utilities will post 1.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Insider Activity at Essential Utilities

In other Essential Utilities news, CEO Chris Franklin acquired 37,245 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 8th. The stock was bought at an average price of $40.70 per share, with a total value of $1,515,871.50. Following the purchase, the chief executive officer now owns 37,245 shares in the company, valued at $1,515,871.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.17% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Essential Utilities

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. EWG Elevate Inc. acquired a new position in Essential Utilities in the 4th quarter valued at about $29,000. OLD Mission Capital LLC acquired a new position in Essential Utilities in the 4th quarter valued at about $34,000. 1832 Asset Management L.P. acquired a new position in Essential Utilities in the 1st quarter valued at about $38,000. Sandy Spring Bank boosted its holdings in Essential Utilities by 371.3% in the 4th quarter. Sandy Spring Bank now owns 773 shares of the company’s stock valued at $37,000 after purchasing an additional 609 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Romano Brothers AND Company acquired a new position in Essential Utilities in the 4th quarter valued at about $38,000. 69.96% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Essential Utilities

(Get Rating)

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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Analyst Recommendations for Essential Utilities (NYSE:WTRG)

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