Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday. The firm currently has $83.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Share price of American Water Works Company trailed the return of the broader industry in the last twelve months. American Water Works’ is benefiting from its consistent investments in regulated operations and contribution from the acquired assets. The company’s inorganic growth strategy has been of great help, enabling it to add 10,700 customers to the existing base year to date. We believe consolidation is the need of the hour in the fragmented U.S. water utility space. A favorable rate hike decision is also helping the company to execute infrastructural development activities and pay regular dividends to shareholders. The company continues to improve its water and wastewater systems, which allows it to provide efficient services to its expanding customer base. However, stringent regulations, fluctuating weather patterns and risk of accidents due to old and soiled pipelines are persistent headwinds.”

Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. Vetr lowered American Water Works from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $79.67 target price for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, November 16th. Bank of America Corp. upgraded American Water Works from a neutral rating to a buy rating and raised their target price for the company from $77.00 to $84.00 in a research note on Wednesday, November 9th. Robert W. Baird initiated coverage on American Water Works in a research report on Friday, October 14th. They issued an outperform rating and a $82.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Barclays PLC lowered their price objective on American Water Works from $87.00 to $81.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 6th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $79.08.

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) opened at 72.47 on Monday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $72.26 and a 200-day moving average price of $76.08. American Water Works has a one year low of $56.40 and a one year high of $85.24. The firm has a market cap of $12.90 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.88 and a beta of 0.23.

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $1.05 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.04. American Water Works had a return on equity of 9.85% and a net margin of 14.19%. The company earned $930 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $944.98 million. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.96 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that American Water Works will post $2.85 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 9th will be issued a dividend of $0.375 per share. This represents a $1.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.07%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, November 7th. American Water Works’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 57.47%.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. boosted its position in shares of American Water Works by 12.3% in the second quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 3,650 shares of the company’s stock worth $308,000 after buying an additional 400 shares during the period. American National Bank boosted its position in shares of American Water Works by 350.0% in the second quarter. American National Bank now owns 26,768 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,262,000 after buying an additional 20,820 shares during the period. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. boosted its position in shares of American Water Works by 0.9% in the second quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 152,210 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,863,000 after buying an additional 1,415 shares during the period. Exxonmobil Investment Management Inc. TX boosted its position in shares of American Water Works by 6.1% in the second quarter. Exxonmobil Investment Management Inc. TX now owns 46,002 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,888,000 after buying an additional 2,661 shares during the period. Finally, DNB Asset Management AS boosted its position in shares of American Water Works by 14.3% in the second quarter. DNB Asset Management AS now owns 17,628 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,490,000 after buying an additional 2,200 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.10% of the company’s stock.

American Water Works Company Profile

American Water Works Company, Inc is a holding company. The Company is a water and wastewater utility company. The Company operates through two segments: the Regulated Businesses and the Market-Based Businesses. Its Regulated Businesses segment involves the ownership of subsidiaries that provide water and wastewater utility services to residential, commercial, industrial and other customers, including sale for resale and public authority customers.

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