Waters (WAT) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Waters (NYSE:WAT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday, December 26th. They currently have $217.00 price target on the medical instruments supplier’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Waters Corp. has an excellent earnings history, having surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters. Going forward, the company believes that stable demand from pharmaceutical business, steady recurring revenues, strength in Asia and modest recovery in industrial markets will accelerate its momentum. Based on these dynamics, the company is expecting strong mid-single-digit constant currency sales increase. Even the government and academic markets have returned to the growth track after sustained weakness. Moreover, the company has been benefiting hugely from both of its LC and LC/MS platforms. Further, shares of the company have outperformed the industry’s average return over past year. However, the company’s growth will likely be hindered by contracting demand in the Americas. Also, currency headwinds are expected to somewhat hinder the company’s sales, going forward.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the company. Deutsche Bank lifted their target price on Waters from $199.00 to $200.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. Bank of America lifted their target price on Waters from $192.00 to $202.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, November 10th. Barclays lifted their target price on Waters from $188.00 to $193.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. Cowen reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $190.00 target price on shares of Waters in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Finally, Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an underweight rating and set a $192.00 target price (up from $183.00) on shares of Waters in a research report on Friday, October 6th. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Waters currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $197.33.

Waters (WAT) opened at $209.75 on Tuesday. Waters has a 1-year low of $137.56 and a 1-year high of $210.08. The company has a current ratio of 6.16, a quick ratio of 5.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66. The stock has a market capitalization of $16,680.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.94, a P/E/G ratio of 2.78 and a beta of 0.82.

Waters (NYSE:WAT) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The medical instruments supplier reported $1.77 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.74 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $565.58 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $555.25 million. Waters had a return on equity of 23.61% and a net margin of 24.34%. Waters’s revenue was up 7.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.57 EPS. equities analysts expect that Waters will post 7.42 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, SVP Rohit Khanna sold 26,913 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $197.93, for a total value of $5,326,890.09. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 13,677 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,707,088.61. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Joann A. Reed sold 1,386 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $194.07, for a total value of $268,981.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 93,159 shares of company stock valued at $18,412,172. Corporate insiders own 5.07% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in WAT. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its position in Waters by 6.5% during the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 263,764 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $48,491,000 after buying an additional 16,108 shares in the last quarter. Blair William & Co. IL increased its position in Waters by 36.5% during the 2nd quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 5,931 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $1,090,000 after buying an additional 1,587 shares in the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC acquired a new position in Waters during the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,287,000. Cadence Capital Management LLC increased its position in Waters by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. Cadence Capital Management LLC now owns 2,216 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $407,000 after buying an additional 13 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Waters by 17.4% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 10,764 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $1,979,000 after buying an additional 1,594 shares in the last quarter. 92.12% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Waters Company Profile

Waters Corporation is an analytical instrument manufacturer. The Company operates through two segments: Waters and TA. It designs, manufactures, sells and services high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC and together with HPLC, referred to as LC) and mass spectrometry (MS) technology systems and support products, including chromatography columns, other consumable products and post-warranty service plans.

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