California Water Service Group (CWT) Downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of California Water Service Group (NYSE:CWT) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “California Water Service Group is the publicly traded water utility in the United States, providing high- quality utility services to the millions of people in the communities through six subsidiaries: California Water Service (Cal Water), Hawaii Water Ser vice Company, Inc. (Hawaii Water), New Mexico Water Service Company (New Mexico Water), Washington Water Ser vice Company (Washington Water), CWS Utility Services (CWSUS), and HWS Utility Services (HWSUS). Cal Water, Hawaii Water, New Mexico Water, and Washington Water provide regulated water and wastewater utility services, while CWSUS and HWSUS conduct the Company’s non-regulated business, which includes providing billing, water quality testing, and water and wastewater system operations and management services to cities and other companies. “

Several other brokerages have also weighed in on CWT. Evercore ISI initiated coverage on California Water Service Group in a report on Monday, September 17th. They set an in-line rating and a $42.00 price objective on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co initiated coverage on California Water Service Group in a research note on Monday, August 27th. They issued a market perform rating on the stock. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $39.67.

Shares of NYSE:CWT traded up $0.63 during trading on Monday, hitting $43.35. 1,514 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 264,166. California Water Service Group has a 1-year low of $35.25 and a 1-year high of $46.15. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.02 billion, a PE ratio of 30.96, a PEG ratio of 4.94 and a beta of 0.50. The company has a current ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 0.60 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00.

California Water Service Group (NYSE:CWT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.72 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72. California Water Service Group had a return on equity of 8.44% and a net margin of 8.54%. The company had revenue of $219.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $249.64 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.70 EPS. California Water Service Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts predict that California Water Service Group will post 1.22 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 23rd. Investors of record on Monday, November 12th will be paid a $0.1875 dividend. This represents a $0.75 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.73%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 8th. California Water Service Group’s dividend payout ratio is 53.57%.

In related news, VP David B. Healey sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.76, for a total value of $41,760.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 14,492 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $605,185.92. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. 1.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC bought a new position in California Water Service Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $156,000. North Point Portfolio Managers Corp OH bought a new position in California Water Service Group in the 3rd quarter valued at $202,000. Mission Wealth Management LP bought a new position in California Water Service Group in the 3rd quarter valued at $213,000. PEAK6 Investments L.P. raised its position in California Water Service Group by 147.4% in the 2nd quarter. PEAK6 Investments L.P. now owns 5,468 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $213,000 after purchasing an additional 17,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC bought a new position in California Water Service Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $229,000. 72.16% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

California Water Service Group Company Profile

California Water Service Group, through its subsidiaries, provides water utility and other related services in California, Washington, New Mexico, and Hawaii. It is involved in the production, purchase, storage, treatment, testing, distribution, and sale of water for domestic, industrial, public, and irrigation uses, as well as for fire protection.

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