California Water Service Group (CWT) Receives Average Recommendation of “Hold” from Brokerages

Shares of California Water Service Group (NYSE:CWT) have been assigned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the six brokerages that are covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, three have assigned a hold recommendation and one has issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12 month target price among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $37.50.

Several research firms recently weighed in on CWT. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of California Water Service Group in a report on Monday, August 27th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded California Water Service Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, November 5th. Finally, Evercore ISI began coverage on California Water Service Group in a report on Monday, September 17th. They set an “in-line” rating and a $42.00 price objective on the stock.

Shares of CWT stock opened at $45.72 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.20 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.66, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 5.35 and a beta of 0.50. California Water Service Group has a fifty-two week low of $35.25 and a fifty-two week high of $46.79. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00, a quick ratio of 0.60 and a current ratio of 0.62.

California Water Service Group (NYSE:CWT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.72 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72. California Water Service Group had a return on equity of 8.44% and a net margin of 8.54%. The company had revenue of $219.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $249.64 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.70 EPS. California Water Service Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that California Water Service Group will post 1.22 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 23rd. Investors of record on Monday, November 12th were issued a dividend of $0.1875 per share. This represents a $0.75 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.64%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 8th. California Water Service Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 53.57%.

In related news, VP David B. Healey sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.18, for a total transaction of $45,180.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 13,492 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $609,568.56. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CWT. FMR LLC acquired a new stake in shares of California Water Service Group during the 3rd quarter valued at $110,000. North Point Portfolio Managers Corp OH acquired a new position in California Water Service Group during the 3rd quarter worth about $202,000. PEAK6 Investments L.P. lifted its holdings in California Water Service Group by 147.4% during the 2nd quarter. PEAK6 Investments L.P. now owns 5,468 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $213,000 after buying an additional 17,000 shares during the period. Mission Wealth Management LP acquired a new position in California Water Service Group during the 3rd quarter worth about $213,000. Finally, Wellington Shields & Co. LLC acquired a new position in California Water Service Group during the 3rd quarter worth about $214,000. 71.88% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About California Water Service Group

California Water Service Group, through its subsidiaries, provides water utility and other related services in California, Washington, New Mexico, and Hawaii. It is involved in the production, purchase, storage, treatment, testing, distribution, and sale of water for domestic, industrial, public, and irrigation uses, as well as for fire protection.

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