Zacks: Middlesex Water (MSEX) Given Consensus Rating of “Hold” by Brokerages

Shares of Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) have earned a consensus broker rating score of 3.00 (Hold) from the one brokers that provide coverage for the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold recommendation.

Brokerages have set a 12-month consensus price objective of $58.00 for the company and are anticipating that the company will post $0.31 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Middlesex Water an industry rank of 207 out of 255 based on the ratings given to related companies.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on MSEX. BidaskClub cut Middlesex Water from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 3rd. Zacks Investment Research cut Middlesex Water from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 15th. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott cut Middlesex Water from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, December 17th. They noted that the move was a valuation call.

In other news, CEO Dennis W. Doll sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, March 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.85, for a total value of $115,700.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Walter G. Reinhard sold 500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, January 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.01, for a total value of $29,005.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 81 shares in the company, valued at $4,698.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 3,726 shares of company stock worth $214,444. Insiders own 3.48% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MSEX. Eaton Vance Management acquired a new stake in shares of Middlesex Water in the fourth quarter valued at $2,468,000. Landsberg Bennett & Dubbaneh LLC acquired a new stake in Middlesex Water in the first quarter valued at $2,214,000. Vanguard Group Inc raised its stake in Middlesex Water by 4.3% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 961,798 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $46,571,000 after buying an additional 40,017 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Middlesex Water by 4.3% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 961,798 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $46,571,000 after buying an additional 40,017 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Middlesex Water in the fourth quarter valued at $1,261,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 54.82% of the company’s stock.

NASDAQ:MSEX opened at $53.89 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 0.27 and a current ratio of 0.33. Middlesex Water has a 52 week low of $38.87 and a 52 week high of $60.48. The firm has a market cap of $878.35 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.49 and a beta of 0.43.

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, March 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.43 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.42 by $0.01. Middlesex Water had a return on equity of 13.50% and a net margin of 23.48%. The company had revenue of $33.27 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $33.00 million. As a group, analysts anticipate that Middlesex Water will post 2.05 EPS for the current fiscal year.

About Middlesex Water

Middlesex Water Company, together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates regulated water utility and wastewater systems. It operates in two segments, Regulated and Non-Regulated. The Regulated segment engages in collecting, treating, and distributing water on a retail and wholesale basis to residential, commercial, industrial, and fire protection customers in parts of New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

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