American States Water (AWR) Downgraded 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 report published on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “In past one year, shares of American States Water have outperformed against its industry’s rise. American States Water has a sturdy utility customer base and most importantly, it is increasing its electricity and water utility customer base at a slow but steady pace. The company makes systematic investments in strengthening its aging infrastructure and distributes regular dividend owing to its strong cash flow generation capacity. The company's substantial groundwater and surface water rights lowers dependence on outside water suppliers and ensures quality of supply. However, American States Water’s main drawback is its heavy dependence on a single state, California, for drawing majority of its earnings. Plus, the company operates in a highly regulated environment and any changes in the existing laws and conditions could leave an adverse impact on the company’s business.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Evercore ISI assumed coverage on shares of American States Water in a research note on Monday, September 17th. They issued an underperform rating and a $54.00 target price for the company. Wells Fargo & Co cut their target price on shares of American States Water from $54.00 to $52.00 and set an underperform rating for the company in a research note on Friday, August 24th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $53.50.

Shares of AWR opened at $63.00 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $2.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 37.52, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 6.05 and a beta of 0.10. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66, a current ratio of 1.09 and a quick ratio of 1.05. American States Water has a 12 month low of $50.06 and a 12 month high of $63.20.

American States Water (NYSE:AWR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, August 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.44 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.47 by ($0.03). The business had revenue of $106.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $114.80 million. American States Water had a return on equity of 11.55% and a net margin of 14.18%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.62 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that American States Water will post 1.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, VP Paul J. Rowley sold 727 shares of American States Water stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.32, for a total value of $43,125.64. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 1,644 shares in the company, valued at $97,522.08. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Diana M. Bonta sold 1,454 shares of American States Water stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.43, for a total transaction of $89,319.22. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 18,505 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,136,762.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 13,478 shares of company stock valued at $819,760 in the last quarter. 1.41% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Comerica Bank raised its stake in shares of American States Water by 2.4% in the second quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 39,982 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,409,000 after acquiring an additional 928 shares during the last quarter. First Midwest Bank Trust Division raised its stake in shares of American States Water by 13.2% in the second quarter. First Midwest Bank Trust Division now owns 8,883 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $508,000 after acquiring an additional 1,036 shares during the last quarter. Granite Investment Partners LLC increased its holdings in shares of American States Water by 0.5% in the second quarter. Granite Investment Partners LLC now owns 222,348 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $12,709,000 after purchasing an additional 1,109 shares in the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers increased its holdings in shares of American States Water by 1.4% in the second quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 100,679 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $5,755,000 after purchasing an additional 1,395 shares in the last quarter. Finally, TD Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of American States Water by 15.3% in the second quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 11,316 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $647,000 after purchasing an additional 1,500 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.30% of the company’s stock.

American States Water Company Profile

American States Water Company, through its subsidiaries, provides water and electric services to residential, industrial, and other customers in the United States. It operates through three segments: Water, Electric, and Contracted Services. The company purchases, produces, distributes, and sells water, as well as distributes electricity.

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