Aqua America Inc (NYSE:WTR) has been assigned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the six analysts that are covering the company. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The average 12 month price objective among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $31.67.

WTR has been the subject of several recent research reports. Robert W. Baird reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $32.00 price target on shares of Aqua America in a research report on Thursday, February 23rd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Aqua America from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 18th. Boenning Scattergood raised Aqua America from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, March 13th. Barclays PLC raised Aqua America from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $33.00 to $36.00 in a research report on Friday, March 17th. Finally, Northcoast Research initiated coverage on Aqua America in a research report on Thursday. They set a “neutral” rating for the company.

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Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Aqua America by 2,818.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,234,276 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $489,782,000 after buying an additional 14,712,330 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of Aqua America by 19.2% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 10,595,357 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $318,285,000 after buying an additional 1,708,561 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Aqua America during the fourth quarter worth approximately $37,655,000. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Aqua America by 6.9% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 16,930,599 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $544,318,000 after buying an additional 1,095,878 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Impax Asset Management LTD increased its stake in shares of Aqua America by 26.4% in the first quarter. Impax Asset Management LTD now owns 1,673,172 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $53,792,000 after buying an additional 349,580 shares in the last quarter. 48.08% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) traded up 0.77% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $32.77. The company had a trading volume of 171,954 shares. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $32.41 and a 200 day moving average price of $30.95. Aqua America has a 12 month low of $28.03 and a 12 month high of $35.83. The firm has a market capitalization of $5.82 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.11 and a beta of 0.46.

Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.30 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $187.79 million for the quarter. Aqua America had a return on equity of 13.19% and a net margin of 25.97%. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Aqua America will post $1.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, May 17th will be given a $0.1913 dividend. This represents a $0.77 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.35%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, May 15th. Aqua America’s dividend payout ratio is currently 64.71%.

About Aqua America

Aqua America, Inc is a holding company. The Company is engaged in providing water or wastewater services concentrated in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, North Carolina, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia. The Company is the holding company for its primary subsidiary, Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc Its market-based activities are conducted through Aqua Resources, Inc (Aqua Resources) and Aqua Infrastructure, LLC (Aqua Infrastructure).

12 Month Chart for NYSE:WTR

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