Shares of American States Water Co. (NYSE:AWR) have been assigned a consensus broker rating score of 3.33 (Hold) from the six analysts that cover the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a strong sell recommendation and five have assigned a hold recommendation to the company. American States Water’s rating score has improved by 12.4% in the last three months as a result of various analysts’ upgrades and downgrades.

Brokerages have set a 1 year consensus price objective of $39.50 for the company and are expecting that the company will post $0.57 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned American States Water an industry rank of 112 out of 265 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

AWR has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Barclays PLC cut their price target on shares of American States Water from $44.00 to $39.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, September 6th. Janney Montgomery Scott raised shares of American States Water from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $35.00 to $39.00 in a report on Friday, August 5th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of American States Water from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 12th.

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Shares of American States Water (NYSE:AWR) traded up 0.58% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $39.94. 39,997 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.46 billion, a PE ratio of 24.82 and a beta of 0.40. American States Water has a 12 month low of $37.28 and a 12 month high of $47.24. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $40.38 and its 200 day moving average price is $40.77.

American States Water (NYSE:AWR) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.01. The firm earned $111.95 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $113.01 million. American States Water had a net margin of 13.28% and a return on equity of 12.76%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.41 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that American States Water will post $1.63 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 15th were issued a dividend of $0.224 per share. This represents a $0.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.26%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 11th. American States Water’s payout ratio is 56.25%.

In other news, Director Diana M. Bonta sold 980 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.62, for a total transaction of $38,827.60. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 23,972 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $949,770.64. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Robert J. Sprowls sold 4,342 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.00, for a total transaction of $191,048.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 91,874 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,042,456. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.43% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AWR. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in American States Water during the fourth quarter worth about $16,931,000. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc boosted its position in shares of American States Water by 1.6% in the first quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc now owns 61,578 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,424,000 after buying an additional 942 shares during the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC boosted its position in shares of American States Water by 2.4% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 25,101 shares of the company’s stock valued at $988,000 after buying an additional 582 shares during the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc boosted its position in shares of American States Water by 191.7% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 6,268 shares of the company’s stock valued at $247,000 after buying an additional 4,119 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its position in shares of American States Water by 28.9% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 230,162 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,059,000 after buying an additional 51,550 shares during the last quarter. 63.65% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About American States Water

American States Water Company (AWR) is a holding company. The Company is the parent company of Golden State Water Company (GSWC) and American States Utility Services, Inc (ASUS), as well as various subsidiaries of ASUS. The Company’s segments include water, electric and contracted services. Within the segments, AWR has two principal business units, water and electric service utility operations, conducted through GSWC, and contracted services conducted through ASUS and its subsidiaries.

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