Shares of Middlesex Water Company (NASDAQ:MSEX) have been assigned a consensus broker rating score of 1.00 (Strong Buy) from the one analysts that provide coverage for the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a strong buy recommendation. Middlesex Water’s rating score has improved by 66.7% in the last 90 days as a result of various analysts’ upgrades and downgrades.

Analysts have set a one year consensus target price of $44.00 for the company and are anticipating 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 110 out of 265 based on the ratings given to related companies.

Several analysts have recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Middlesex Water from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 14th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Middlesex Water from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 4th. BidaskClub cut shares of Middlesex Water from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 10th. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott restated a “buy” rating and issued a $44.00 target price on shares of Middlesex Water in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th.

In related news, President Gerard L. Esposito sold 1,700 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.89, for a total value of $72,913.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. 3.48% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Middlesex Water by 1.2% in the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 10,852 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $401,000 after purchasing an additional 130 shares during the period. Aperio Group LLC lifted its stake in shares of Middlesex Water by 1.1% in the second quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 14,832 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $587,000 after purchasing an additional 155 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its stake in shares of Middlesex Water by 4.1% in the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 4,101 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $162,000 after purchasing an additional 161 shares during the period. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Middlesex Water by 3.8% in the second quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 11,026 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $438,000 after purchasing an additional 400 shares during the period. Finally, Financial Architects Inc lifted its stake in shares of Middlesex Water by 3.6% in the second quarter. Financial Architects Inc now owns 16,481 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $653,000 after purchasing an additional 568 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 49.06% of the company’s stock.

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ MSEX) opened at 44.72 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $730.59 million, a P/E ratio of 33.75 and a beta of 0.41. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $41.34 and a 200-day moving average of $38.83. Middlesex Water has a 12 month low of $32.23 and a 12 month high of $46.39.

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.33 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ 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 firm had revenue of $33.01 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $34.00 million. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Middlesex Water will post $1.48 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, November 9th will be paid a $0.2238 dividend. This is a boost from Middlesex Water’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 8th. This represents a $0.90 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.00%. Middlesex Water’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 63.91%.

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Middlesex Water Company Profile

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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