Todays Report: Today: The Zacks Investment Research Upgraded American Water Works (AWK) to “Buy”

Today: The Zacks Investment Research Upgraded American Water Works (AWK) to “Buy”

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday. The firm currently has a $83.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price suggests a potential upside of 11.62% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Share price of American Water Works Company trailed the return of the broader industry in the last twelve months. American Water Works’ is benefiting from its consistent investments in regulated operations and contribution from the acquired assets. The company’s inorganic growth strategy has been of great help, enabling it to add 10,700 customers to the existing base year to date. We believe consolidation is the need of the hour in the fragmented U.S. water utility space. A favorable rate hike decision is also helping the company to execute infrastructural development activities and pay regular dividends to shareholders. The company continues to improve its water and wastewater systems, which allows it to provide efficient services to its expanding customer base. However, stringent regulations, fluctuating weather patterns and risk of accidents due to old and soiled pipelines are persistent headwinds.”

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on AWK. Bank of America Corp. raised shares of American Water Works from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $77.00 to $84.00 in a research report on Wednesday, November 9th. Vetr raised shares of American Water Works from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $79.67 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, November 10th. Robert W. Baird initiated coverage on shares of American Water Works in a research report on Friday, October 14th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $82.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Barclays PLC reduced their target price on shares of American Water Works from $87.00 to $81.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, September 6th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. American Water Works has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $79.08.

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) opened at 74.36 on Monday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $72.01 and its 200 day moving average is $76.05. The stock has a market capitalization of $13.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.61 and a beta of 0.23. American Water Works has a 12 month low of $56.40 and a 12 month high of $85.24.

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $1.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.04. American Water Works had a net margin of 14.19% and a return on equity of 9.85%. The company earned $930 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $944.98 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.96 earnings per share. American Water Works’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that American Water Works will post $2.85 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 9th will be issued a dividend of $0.375 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 7th. This represents a $1.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.02%. American Water Works’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 57.47%.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Janus Capital Management LLC raised its position in American Water Works by 113.8% in the second quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 1,931,515 shares of the company’s stock valued at $163,232,000 after buying an additional 1,028,299 shares in the last quarter. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. purchased a new position in American Water Works during the second quarter valued at approximately $43,971,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in American Water Works by 30.2% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,961,849 shares of the company’s stock valued at $146,824,000 after buying an additional 455,011 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its position in American Water Works by 264.4% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 607,914 shares of the company’s stock valued at $52,083,000 after buying an additional 441,108 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in American Water Works by 2.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 16,242,274 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,372,635,000 after buying an additional 424,954 shares in the last quarter. 79.10% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

American Water Works Company Profile

American Water Works Company, Inc is a holding company. The Company is a water and wastewater utility company. The Company operates through two segments: the Regulated Businesses and the Market-Based Businesses. Its Regulated Businesses segment involves the ownership of subsidiaries that provide water and wastewater utility services to residential, commercial, industrial and other customers, including sale for resale and public authority customers.

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