Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE:WTR) has earned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the seven analysts that are presently covering the firm, Marketbeat Ratings reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, four have given a hold recommendation and two have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year target price among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $31.67.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on WTR. BidaskClub upgraded Aqua America from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 15th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Aqua America from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. Finally, Northcoast Research began coverage on Aqua America in a research report on Thursday, May 25th. They issued a “neutral” rating for the company.

Aqua America (WTR) traded up 0.77% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $34.23. 429,318 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a 50-day moving average of $33.26 and a 200 day moving average of $32.09. The firm has a market capitalization of $6.08 billion, a PE ratio of 26.13 and a beta of 0.52. Aqua America has a 52 week low of $28.03 and a 52 week high of $34.41.

Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.34. The company had revenue of $203.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $208.28 million. Aqua America had a return on equity of 12.51% and a net margin of 28.59%. Aqua America’s revenue was down .2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.33 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Aqua America will post $1.36 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 16th will be given a dividend of $0.2047 per share. This represents a $0.82 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.39%. This is an increase from Aqua America’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, August 14th. Aqua America’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 58.78%.

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In other news, Director Richard H. Glanton sold 4,200 shares of Aqua America stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.83, for a total transaction of $137,886.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 2,207 shares in the company, valued at $72,455.81. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, COO Richard Scott Fox sold 5,750 shares of Aqua America stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.89, for a total value of $189,117.50. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 18,788 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $617,937.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in Aqua America by 11.6% in the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 991,238 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $33,007,000 after buying an additional 103,345 shares during the period. IndexIQ Advisors LLC increased its stake in Aqua America by 88.2% in the second quarter. IndexIQ Advisors LLC now owns 17,034 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $567,000 after buying an additional 7,985 shares during the period. Boulegeris Investments Inc. increased its stake in Aqua America by 24.1% in the second quarter. Boulegeris Investments Inc. now owns 17,754 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $591,000 after buying an additional 3,450 shares during the period. Girard Partners LTD. increased its stake in Aqua America by 13.7% in the second quarter. Girard Partners LTD. now owns 23,243 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $774,000 after buying an additional 2,802 shares during the period. Finally, Buckingham Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Aqua America by 2.8% in the second quarter. Buckingham Asset Management LLC now owns 9,080 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $302,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 50.90% of the company’s stock.

Aqua America Company Profile

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).

Analyst Recommendations for Aqua America (NYSE:WTR)

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