Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT)‘s stock had its “underweight” rating reaffirmed by stock analysts at Morgan Stanley in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. They currently have a $183.00 target price on the medical instruments supplier’s stock, up from their prior target price of $174.00. Morgan Stanley’s price target would suggest a potential upside of 4.51% from the stock’s current price.

Several other research firms have also recently commented on WAT. Bank of America Corporation reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $192.00 target price (up from $180.00) on shares of Waters Corporation in a research note on Friday, July 21st. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $190.00 price objective on shares of Waters Corporation in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $170.00 price objective on shares of Waters Corporation in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Wells Fargo & Company reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $205.00 target price (up from $195.00) on shares of Waters Corporation in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Waters Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $202.00 target price for the company in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. Waters Corporation has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $179.14.

Shares of Waters Corporation (NYSE WAT) traded down 1.322% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $172.795. The stock had a trading volume of 674,077 shares. The stock has a market cap of $13.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.277 and a beta of 0.85. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $184.01 and a 200-day moving average of $164.58. Waters Corporation has a one year low of $133.35 and a one year high of $187.65.

Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The medical instruments supplier reported $1.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.71 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $558.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $553.22 million. Waters Corporation had a return on equity of 24.30% and a net margin of 24.34%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.58 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Waters Corporation will post $7.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Waters Corporation declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, May 11th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the medical instruments supplier to purchase up to 7.3% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

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In related news, Director Michael J. Berendt sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $174.01, for a total value of $174,010.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 23,349 shares in the company, valued at $4,062,959.49. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Laurie H. M.D. Glimcher sold 4,800 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $175.78, for a total transaction of $843,744.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 10,849 shares in the company, valued at $1,907,037.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 165,940 shares of company stock worth $29,321,461 over the last 90 days. 5.07% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Watermark Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Waters Corporation during the first quarter worth approximately $106,000. Creative Planning boosted its stake in Waters Corporation by 1.6% in the first quarter. Creative Planning now owns 744 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 12 shares in the last quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC boosted its stake in Waters Corporation by 4.4% in the first quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 822 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $124,000 after buying an additional 35 shares in the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC bought a new stake in Waters Corporation during the first quarter worth about $169,000. Finally, Van ECK Associates Corp boosted its stake in Waters Corporation by 7.4% in the first quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 1,129 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $176,000 after buying an additional 78 shares in the last quarter. 91.79% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Waters Corporation

Waters Corporation is an analytical instrument manufacturer. The Company operates through two segments: Waters and TA. It designs, manufactures, sells and services high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC and together with HPLC, referred to as LC) and mass spectrometry (MS) technology systems and support products, including chromatography columns, other consumable products and post-warranty service plans.

Analyst Recommendations for Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT)

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