Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) was upgraded by equities research analysts at BidaskClub from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

WAT has been the topic of several other reports. Wells Fargo & Company reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $205.00 price objective (up from $195.00) on shares of Waters Corporation in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $175.00 price objective on shares of Waters Corporation in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Barclays PLC set a $160.00 price objective on shares of Waters Corporation and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 26th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Waters Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $190.00 price objective (up from $170.00) on shares of Waters Corporation in a research note on Tuesday, April 25th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Waters Corporation has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $186.00.

Shares of Waters Corporation (NYSE WAT) traded up 1.16% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $181.60. 61,452 shares of the company were exchanged. Waters Corporation has a 12 month low of $133.35 and a 12 month high of $187.65. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.50 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.37 and a beta of 0.84. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $180.09 and a 200-day moving average price of $168.45.

Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The medical instruments supplier reported $1.76 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.71 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $558.30 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $553.22 million. Waters Corporation had a net margin of 24.26% and a return on equity of 23.91%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.58 EPS. Analysts predict that Waters Corporation will post $7.38 earnings per share for the current year.

Waters Corporation declared that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, May 11th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the medical instruments supplier to purchase up to 7.3% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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In other news, SVP Michael C. Harrington sold 24,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $175.33, for a total transaction of $4,207,920.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 28,073 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,922,039.09. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Christopher A. Kuebler sold 3,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $179.67, for a total transaction of $628,845.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 17,849 shares in the company, valued at $3,206,929.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 98,580 shares of company stock worth $17,730,275. Corporate insiders own 5.07% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. TrimTabs Asset Management acquired a new stake in Waters Corporation during the third quarter valued at approximately $2,034,000. Eagle Asset Management acquired a new stake in Waters Corporation during the third quarter valued at approximately $2,736,000. Middleton & Company raised its stake in Waters Corporation by 68.7% in the fourth quarter. Middleton & Company now owns 8,595 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $1,157,000 after buying an additional 3,500 shares in the last quarter. Boston Financial Mangement Inc. MA raised its stake in Waters Corporation by 25.3% in the fourth quarter. Boston Financial Mangement Inc. MA now owns 28,088 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $3,780,000 after buying an additional 5,675 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Capstone Asset Management Company raised its stake in Waters Corporation by 25.3% in the fourth quarter. Capstone Asset Management Company now owns 14,091 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $1,896,000 after buying an additional 2,843 shares in the last quarter. 92.06% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Waters Corporation Company Profile

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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