Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Monday. The brokerage currently has a $211.00 price objective on the medical instruments supplier’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 12.15% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Year to date, shares of Waters Corp. have slightly underperformed the industry’s average return. Going forward, the company believes that stable demand from pharmaceutical business, steady recurring revenues, strength in Asia and modest recovery in industrial markets will accelerate its momentum. Based on these dynamics, the company is expecting strong mid-single-digit constant currency sales increase in 2017. The Industrial business of the company is also proving to be a major profit churner. Even the government and academic markets have returned to the growth track after sustained weakness. Waters Corp. has been benefiting hugely from both of its LC and LC/MS platforms. However, the company’s growth will likely be hindered by contracting demand in the Americas.Further, currency headwinds are expected to somewhat hinder the company’s sales, going forward.”

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on WAT. Cleveland Research lowered shares of Waters Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, October 9th. Bank of America Corporation reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $192.00 price target (up previously from $180.00) on shares of Waters Corporation in a report on Friday, July 21st. Deutsche Bank AG lowered shares of Waters Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $183.00 to $194.00 in a report on Monday, July 10th. Morgan Stanley reissued an “underweight” rating and issued a $192.00 price target (up previously from $183.00) on shares of Waters Corporation in a report on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $175.00 price target on shares of Waters Corporation in a report on Thursday, August 31st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Waters Corporation currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $187.67.

Shares of Waters Corporation (WAT) traded up 0.327% during trading on Monday, reaching $188.755. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 237,121 shares. Waters Corporation has a 52-week low of $133.35 and a 52-week high of $190.64. The stock has a market cap of $15.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.448 and a beta of 0.81. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $184.25 and its 200-day moving average price is $178.42.

Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The medical instruments supplier reported $1.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.71 by $0.05. Waters Corporation had a net margin of 24.26% and a return on equity of 23.91%. The business had revenue of $558.30 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $553.22 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.58 earnings per share. Waters Corporation’s revenue was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Waters Corporation will post $7.40 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, SVP Rohit Khanna sold 18,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $185.78, for a total value of $3,418,352.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 22,477 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,175,777.06. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Christopher A. Kuebler sold 3,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $179.67, for a total transaction of $628,845.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 17,849 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,206,929.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 5.07% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Waters Corporation by 46.7% in the 2nd quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 374,472 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $68,843,000 after purchasing an additional 119,130 shares during the last quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Waters Corporation in the 2nd quarter worth about $3,230,000. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Waters Corporation by 3.1% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,515,322 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $1,013,936,000 after purchasing an additional 165,611 shares during the last quarter. Aviva PLC grew its holdings in shares of Waters Corporation by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Aviva PLC now owns 47,903 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $8,806,000 after purchasing an additional 420 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Waters Corporation by 3.1% in the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 927,227 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $170,461,000 after purchasing an additional 28,229 shares during the last quarter. 90.95% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Waters Corporation

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.

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