Blume Capital Management Inc. cut its stake in shares of Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRG) by 3.0% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 9,700 shares of the company’s stock after selling 300 shares during the period. Blume Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Essential Utilities were worth $443,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Essential Utilities in the first quarter worth $25,000. MCF Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Essential Utilities in the 2nd quarter worth about $34,000. Tarbox Family Office Inc. raised its stake in Essential Utilities by 459.6% in the 2nd quarter. Tarbox Family Office Inc. now owns 761 shares of the company’s stock valued at $35,000 after acquiring an additional 625 shares during the period. Bbva USA purchased a new stake in Essential Utilities during the second quarter valued at about $36,000. Finally, Pflug Koory LLC bought a new position in Essential Utilities during the second quarter worth about $37,000. 68.88% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of analysts recently commented on WTRG shares. Evercore ISI restated a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of Essential Utilities in a research note on Friday, August 6th. The Goldman Sachs Group cut Essential Utilities from a “conviction-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 13th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Essential Utilities from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $51.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, July 21st. Finally, Barclays reduced their price objective on shares of Essential Utilities from $51.00 to $50.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, July 15th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $51.50.
Essential Utilities stock traded down $0.41 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $47.21. 4,522 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 932,368. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.17, a quick ratio of 0.51 and a current ratio of 0.65. Essential Utilities, Inc. has a one year low of $38.28 and a one year high of $51.42. The stock has a market cap of $11.60 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.69, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.67 and a beta of 0.54. The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $48.92 and a 200-day moving average price of $47.00.
Essential Utilities (NYSE:WTRG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 4th. The company reported $0.32 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.07. Essential Utilities had a net margin of 23.46% and a return on equity of 9.27%. Sell-side analysts predict that Essential Utilities, Inc. will post 1.67 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 13th were given a $0.268 dividend. This is a boost from Essential Utilities’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.25. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 12th. This represents a $1.07 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.27%. Essential Utilities’s payout ratio is presently 67.72%.
About Essential Utilities
Essential Utilities, Inc is a holding company, which engages in the provision of water and wastewater services through its subsidiaries. It operates through the following segments: Regulated Water and Regulated Natural Gas. The Regulated Water segment includes water and wastewater regulated utility companies.
See Also: Hold Rating
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