Aviva PLC lifted its stake in Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRG – Free Report) by 61.8% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 586,365 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 224,057 shares during the period. Aviva PLC owned 0.22% of Essential Utilities worth $25,595,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. WealthPLAN Partners LLC acquired a new stake in Essential Utilities in the first quarter worth approximately $25,000. BOKF NA bought a new stake in shares of Essential Utilities in the 1st quarter worth $27,000. Atlantic Private Wealth LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Essential Utilities in the first quarter valued at $28,000. Piscataqua Savings Bank boosted its stake in Essential Utilities by 50.0% during the first quarter. Piscataqua Savings Bank now owns 750 shares of the company’s stock valued at $33,000 after buying an additional 250 shares in the last quarter. Finally, OLD Mission Capital LLC acquired a new position in Essential Utilities during the fourth quarter worth about $34,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.01% of the company’s stock.
Analyst Ratings Changes
WTRG has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. StockNews.com downgraded shares of Essential Utilities from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday. Northcoast Research lowered shares of Essential Utilities from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 18th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat, Essential Utilities has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $51.40.
Essential Utilities Trading Down 0.6 %
Shares of WTRG opened at $36.67 on Friday. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $39.78 and its 200 day moving average price is $41.58. The company has a current ratio of 0.53, a quick ratio of 0.39 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18. The stock has a market capitalization of $9.70 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.84, a P/E/G ratio of 3.56 and a beta of 0.77. Essential Utilities, Inc. has a 1-year low of $36.36 and a 1-year high of $50.35.
Essential Utilities (NYSE:WTRG – Get Free Report) last released its earnings results on Monday, August 7th. The company reported $0.34 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.34. The business had revenue of $436.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $469.07 million. Essential Utilities had a net margin of 20.25% and a return on equity of 8.54%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.31 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Essential Utilities, Inc. will post 1.86 earnings per share for the current year.
Essential Utilities Increases Dividend
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 11th were issued a $0.3071 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 10th. This represents a $1.23 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.35%. This is a positive change from Essential Utilities’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.29. Essential Utilities’s dividend payout ratio is presently 69.89%.
Insider Transactions at Essential Utilities
In related news, President Colleen Arnold sold 1,244 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.84, for a total transaction of $52,048.96. Following the transaction, the president now directly owns 7,796 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $326,184.64. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.18% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
About Essential Utilities
Essential Utilities, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates regulated utilities that provide water, wastewater, or natural gas services in the United States. The company operates through Regulated Water and Regulated Natural Gas segments. It offers water services through operating and maintenance contract with municipal authorities and other parties.
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