American States Water (AWR) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of American States Water (NYSE:AWR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Monday, January 8th.

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 lowered American States Water from a market perform rating to an underperform rating and set a $48.00 target price for the company. in a report on Monday, December 18th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $50.67.

Shares of American States Water (NYSE AWR) traded down $0.44 during trading on Monday, reaching $55.10. The company had a trading volume of 201,200 shares, compared to its average volume of 231,092. American States Water has a fifty-two week low of $41.14 and a fifty-two week high of $58.44. The company has a market cap of $2,037.16, a PE ratio of 30.11, a P/E/G ratio of 7.79 and a beta of 0.49. 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 (NYSE:AWR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $124.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $145.78 million. American States Water had a net margin of 15.28% and a return on equity of 13.34%. The company’s revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.59 earnings per share. research analysts predict that American States Water will post 1.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in AWR. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of American States Water by 2.0% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,768,089 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $178,644,000 after acquiring an additional 74,002 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in shares of American States Water by 2.3% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,349,948 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $64,001,000 after acquiring an additional 30,991 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its holdings in shares of American States Water by 4.2% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 990,335 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $46,948,000 after acquiring an additional 39,563 shares in the last quarter. Copeland Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of American States Water by 1.6% during the third quarter. Copeland Capital Management LLC now owns 418,555 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $20,614,000 after acquiring an additional 6,416 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of American States Water by 5.3% during the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 334,952 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $15,880,000 after acquiring an additional 16,830 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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