Shares of Middlesex Water Company (NASDAQ:MSEX) have been assigned a consensus broker rating score of 3.00 (Hold) from the one brokers that cover the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating.

Analysts have set a 12 month consensus target price of $39.00 for the company and are predicting that the company will post $0.55 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Middlesex Water an industry rank of 195 out of 265 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on MSEX shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered Middlesex Water from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, August 4th. ValuEngine raised Middlesex Water from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 4th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Middlesex Water from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 10th.

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Middlesex Water (NASDAQ MSEX) traded up 0.88% during trading on Thursday, reaching $38.89. 12,633 shares of the company traded hands. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $38.54 and its 200 day moving average price is $37.69. Middlesex Water has a 52 week low of $32.23 and a 52 week high of $44.48. The firm has a market capitalization of $635.35 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.35 and a beta of 0.41.

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.33 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.38 by ($0.05). Middlesex Water had a return on equity of 9.95% and a net margin of 16.46%. The business had revenue of $33.01 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $34.00 million. On average, equities research analysts expect that Middlesex Water will post $1.48 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 11th were paid a dividend of $0.2113 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 9th. This represents a $0.85 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.17%. Middlesex Water’s dividend payout ratio is currently 63.91%.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Middlesex Water by 19.6% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 923,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $34,105,000 after purchasing an additional 150,958 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its stake in shares of Middlesex Water by 3.5% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 566,765 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $22,444,000 after purchasing an additional 19,114 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its stake in shares of Middlesex Water by 6.5% during the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 528,400 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $20,925,000 after purchasing an additional 32,400 shares during the period. First Manhattan Co. grew its stake in shares of Middlesex Water by 5.2% during the 2nd quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 338,897 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $13,420,000 after purchasing an additional 16,800 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp grew its stake in shares of Middlesex Water by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 333,238 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $13,202,000 after purchasing an additional 3,154 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 49.11% of the company’s stock.

About Middlesex Water

Middlesex Water Company is a water utility company. The Company owns and operates regulated water utility and wastewater systems in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. The Company also operates water and wastewater systems under contract on behalf of municipal and private clients in New Jersey and Delaware.

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