Wells Fargo & Company upgraded shares of Essential Utilities (NASDAQ:WTRG) from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating in a research note published on Monday, Benzinga reports. They currently have $45.00 price target on the stock.
Other research analysts have also issued reports about the company. UBS Group boosted their price target on Essential Utilities from $43.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, June 5th. BofA Securities raised Essential Utilities from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, August 10th. TheStreet raised Essential Utilities from a c+ rating to a b rating in a research report on Monday, June 8th. Barclays began coverage on Essential Utilities in a research report on Wednesday, July 15th. They set an equal weight rating and a $45.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Seaport Global Securities began coverage on Essential Utilities in a research report on Wednesday, May 20th. They set a neutral rating on the stock. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $46.50.
Shares of WTRG stock opened at $39.60 on Monday. Essential Utilities has a twelve month low of $30.40 and a twelve month high of $54.52. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $43.50 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $42.60.
Essential Utilities (NASDAQ:WTRG) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, August 5th. The company reported $0.29 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.24 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $384.47 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $352.00 million.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 14th were issued a $0.2507 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 13th. This is a positive change from Essential Utilities’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.23. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.53%.
In other news, CEO Chris Franklin sold 21,869 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.50, for a total value of $1,016,908.50. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 144,768 shares in the company, valued at $6,731,712. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, COO Richard Scott Fox sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.00, for a total value of $45,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 26,734 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,203,030. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of WTRG. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Essential Utilities in the first quarter worth about $28,000. Asahi Life Asset Management CO. LTD. purchased a new stake in shares of Essential Utilities in the second quarter worth about $38,000. Motco boosted its stake in shares of Essential Utilities by 334.4% in the second quarter. Motco now owns 1,212 shares of the company’s stock worth $51,000 after buying an additional 933 shares during the last quarter. Bartlett & Co. LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Essential Utilities in the first quarter worth about $54,000. Finally, CBIZ Investment Advisory Services LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Essential Utilities in the first quarter worth about $58,000.
Essential Utilities Company Profile
Essential Utilities, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates regulated utilities that provide water or wastewater services in the United States. It offers water services through operating and maintenance contracts 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 third-party.
Read More: Retained Earnings
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