American Water Works (AWK) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has a $123.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 10.31% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of American Water Works have outperformed its industry in the past 12 months. American Water Works continues to add water and wastewater customers, as well as expand its market reach through acquisitions and organic growth. The planned capital expenditure within 2019-2023 time period for improving its water and wastewater systems will enable the company to provide efficient services to the expanding customer base. New rates are boosting the top line of the company. However, the company is subject to stringent regulations, fluctuating weather patterns and risk of accidents due to old and soiled pipelines. High debt level of the company is a headwind.”

AWK has been the subject of several other reports. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of American Water Works in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. Janney Montgomery Scott reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $102.00 target price on shares of American Water Works in a research report on Thursday, February 21st. Bank of America upped their target price on shares of American Water Works from $92.00 to $103.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 21st. Finally, Boenning Scattergood reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of American Water Works in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $109.67.

Shares of American Water Works stock traded up $1.66 during trading on Thursday, hitting $111.51. The stock had a trading volume of 229,346 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,018,704. The stock has a market cap of $19.90 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.79, a PEG ratio of 3.81 and a beta of 0.25. American Water Works has a 12 month low of $77.73 and a 12 month high of $111.28. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.28, a quick ratio of 0.30 and a current ratio of 0.32.

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.63 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $813.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $792.73 million. American Water Works had a return on equity of 10.25% and a net margin of 16.44%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.59 EPS. Sell-side analysts predict that American Water Works will post 3.6 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, SVP Loyd A. Warnock sold 9,502 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.04, for a total value of $1,055,102.08. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 18,314 shares in the company, valued at $2,033,586.56. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.36% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in AWK. Kore Private Wealth LLC purchased a new stake in American Water Works during the first quarter valued at about $103,000. CWM Advisors LLC boosted its position in American Water Works by 3.2% during the first quarter. CWM Advisors LLC now owns 3,531 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $368,000 after buying an additional 110 shares during the period. Zimmer Partners LP purchased a new stake in American Water Works during the first quarter valued at about $58,646,000. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. boosted its position in American Water Works by 6.1% during the first quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 39,503 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,116,000 after buying an additional 2,277 shares during the period. Finally, Man Group plc boosted its position in American Water Works by 120.5% during the first quarter. Man Group plc now owns 38,264 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,990,000 after buying an additional 20,912 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 85.47% of the company’s stock.

American Water Works Company Profile

American Water Works Company, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides water and wastewater services in the United States and Canada. It offers water and wastewater services to approximately 1,600 communities in 16 states serving approximately 3.4 million active customers. The company serves residential customers; commercial customers, such as food and beverage providers, commercial property developers and proprietors, and energy suppliers; fire service and private fire customers; industrial customers, such as large-scale manufacturers, mining, and production operations; public authorities comprising government buildings and other public sector facilities; and other utilities and community water and wastewater systems.

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