American States Water (AWR) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy

American States Water (NYSE:AWR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday, January 3rd. The firm currently has a $63.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 14.01% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of American States Water have outperformed the industry in the last 12 months.  The company’s strength lies in an expanding customer base, extensive water rights and strong credit ratings. Further, it makes systematic investments to strengthen the existing infrastructure. In addition, new water rates will help boost its margins. American States Water’s main drawback is its heavy dependence on a single state, California, for majority of its earnings. Plus, the company’s highly-regulated operations and risk of water contamination leading to an increase in operating costs could adversely impact its results. “

Separately, Wells Fargo & Co upped their price objective on shares of American States Water from $46.00 to $48.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $50.67.

American States Water (AWR) traded up $0.12 on Wednesday, reaching $55.26. 150,800 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 224,725. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,030.00, a PE ratio of 30.20, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 7.78 and a beta of 0.48. The company has a quick ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. American States Water has a one year low of $41.14 and a one year high of $58.44.

American States Water (NYSE:AWR) last released its earnings results on Monday, November 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.57 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58 by ($0.01). American States Water had a return on equity of 13.34% and a net margin of 15.28%. The company had revenue of $124.40 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $145.78 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.59 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that American States Water will post 1.72 earnings per share for the current year.

In other American States Water news, Director Anne M. Holloway sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.00, for a total value of $55,000.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 38,399 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,111,945. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Denise L. Kruger sold 1,250 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.88, for a total transaction of $67,350.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 8,216 shares in the company, valued at $442,678.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 5,025 shares of company stock worth $279,898. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Riverhead Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in American States Water by 85.4% during the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 2,596 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $123,000 after acquiring an additional 1,196 shares in the last quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in American States Water in the second quarter valued at approximately $127,000. IndexIQ Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in American States Water in the second quarter valued at approximately $166,000. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC purchased a new stake in American States Water in the third quarter valued at approximately $201,000. Finally, Advisor Group Inc. lifted its position in American States Water by 16.3% during the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 4,339 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $205,000 after buying an additional 609 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.98% of the company’s stock.

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About American States Water

American States Water Company (AWR) is a holding company. The Company is the parent company of Golden State Water Company (GSWC) and American States Utility Services, Inc (ASUS), as well as ASUS’ subsidiaries, such as Fort Bliss Water Services Company (FBWS), Terrapin Utility Services, Inc (TUS), Old Dominion Utility Services, Inc (ODUS), Palmetto State Utility Services, Inc (PSUS) and Old North Utility Services, Inc (ONUS).

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