Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE:WTR) was upgraded by research analysts at Wells Fargo & Company from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note issued on Thursday, MarketBeat.com reports. The firm currently has a $40.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock. Wells Fargo & Company’s target price suggests a potential upside of 11.05% from the company’s current price.

The analysts wrote, “tuck-in” M&A arena and expectations for a constructive outcome in the upcoming PA rate relief case.As such, the firm upgraded shares of Aqua America from Market Perform to Outperform and raised its price target from $35 to $40.At the time of writing, shares of Aqua America were up 1.53 percent at $35.84.Analysts Jonathan Reeder, Neil Kalton and Sarah Akers said they are now increasingly convinced that potentially pursuing growth outside of the regulated water/wastewater space, namely gas LDC purchase or a non-regulated venture, is on the backburner for now.Instead, the analysts said the company is focused on capitalizing on the budding opportunities in the “tuck-in”

Several other analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Aqua America from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $32.00 price target on shares of Aqua America in a report on Sunday, October 1st. Barclays PLC boosted their price target on shares of Aqua America from $36.00 to $38.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, September 22nd. Boenning Scattergood reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Aqua America in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Aqua America from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $37.00.

Shares of Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) traded down 0.03% during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $36.02. 580,675 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $34.16 and its 200 day moving average price is $33.32. The company has a market cap of $6.40 billion, a PE ratio of 27.50 and a beta of 0.54. Aqua America has a 52-week low of $28.03 and a 52-week high of $36.27.

Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.34. Aqua America had a net margin of 28.59% and a return on equity of 12.51%. The firm had revenue of $203.40 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $208.28 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.33 EPS. The business’s revenue was down .2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Aqua America will post $1.36 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, insider Robert A. Rubin sold 12,499 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.46, for a total value of $430,715.54. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 80,604 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,777,613.84. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 0.25% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Aqua America by 1.6% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 17,208,005 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $573,026,000 after buying an additional 277,406 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Aqua America by 2,818.7% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,234,276 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $489,782,000 after buying an additional 14,712,330 shares during the last quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. boosted its holdings in shares of Aqua America by 21.0% in the 2nd quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 4,246,581 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $138,821,000 after buying an additional 735,706 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Aqua America by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 2,681,653 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $89,300,000 after buying an additional 40,655 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Aqua America by 7.3% in the 1st quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,397,830 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $44,940,000 after buying an additional 95,204 shares during the last quarter. 50.96% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Aqua America

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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