American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “American Water Works is subject to stringent regulations, fluctuating weather patterns and risk of accidents due to old and soiled pipelines. High debt level is a headwind. In last six months American Water Works have gained marginally higher than the industry.  American Water Works continues to add customers and expand its market reach through acquisitions and organic growth. Year to date, the water utility has added 22,000 customers through closed acquisitions and organic growth. Thanks to its ongoing capital expenditure we expect the company to improve its water and wastewater systems, providing efficient services to its expanding customer base.”

Several other equities analysts have also commented on AWK. Wells Fargo & Co set a $89.00 target price on shares of American Water Works and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday. BidaskClub lowered shares of American Water Works from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $82.00 target price on shares of American Water Works in a report on Sunday, October 1st. Finally, Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of American Water Works in a report on Friday, September 22nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. American Water Works presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $83.63.

Shares of American Water Works (AWK) traded up 0.040% during trading on Friday, hitting $87.275. 344,554 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm has a market capitalization of $15.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.946 and a beta of 0.25. American Water Works has a 52 week low of $69.41 and a 52 week high of $87.87. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $82.70 and its 200 day moving average price is $80.21.

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by ($0.07). American Water Works had a net margin of 14.20% and a return on equity of 9.70%. The business had revenue of $844.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $869.52 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.77 EPS. American Water Works’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that American Water Works will post $3.00 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other American Water Works news, COO Walter Lynch sold 3,335 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.05, for a total value of $273,636.75. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 94,702 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,770,299.10. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.34% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in American Water Works by 349.5% in the 2nd quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 1,344 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $105,000 after acquiring an additional 1,045 shares during the last quarter. Pinebridge Investments L.P. bought a new stake in American Water Works in the 2nd quarter worth $118,000. Peddock Capital Advisors LLC bought a new stake in American Water Works in the 2nd quarter worth $131,000. Aviance Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in American Water Works in the 2nd quarter worth $147,000. Finally, Almanack Investment Partners LLC. bought a new stake in American Water Works in the 2nd quarter worth $154,000. 79.63% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

American Water Works Company Profile

American Water Works Company, Inc is a holding company for regulated and market-based subsidiaries throughout the United States and Ontario, Canada. The Company’s Regulated Businesses segment provides water and wastewater services as public utilities in 16 states in the United States as of December 31, 2016.

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