Wall Street analysts predict that Waters Co. (NYSE:WAT) will announce earnings per share of $1.90 for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Seven analysts have provided estimates for Waters’ earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $1.94 and the lowest is $1.88. Waters posted earnings per share of $1.77 in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 7.3%. The firm is expected to report its next earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd.

On average, analysts expect that Waters will report full year earnings of $8.12 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $8.08 to $8.16. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect that the firm will post earnings of $8.93 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $8.80 to $9.20. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that follow Waters.

Waters (NYSE:WAT) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 24th. The medical instruments supplier reported $1.95 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.92 by $0.03. Waters had a net margin of 2.12% and a return on equity of 27.85%. The firm had revenue of $596.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $598.73 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.76 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year.

WAT has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Cleveland Research lowered shares of Waters from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 14th. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on shares of Waters from $200.00 to $205.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, July 13th. Bank of America lowered shares of Waters from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $190.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, July 16th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Waters from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 16th. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott lowered shares of Waters from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $230.00 to $211.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 17th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. Waters has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $206.27.

Shares of WAT stock traded down $0.37 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $187.55. 350,000 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 555,906. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a quick ratio of 5.95 and a current ratio of 6.58. Waters has a 12-month low of $177.58 and a 12-month high of $220.20. The firm has a market capitalization of $14.64 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.06, a PEG ratio of 2.33 and a beta of 0.98.

Waters declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, April 24th that authorizes the company to repurchase $3.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the medical instruments supplier to repurchase up to 18.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, SVP Michael C. Harrington sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $194.64, for a total transaction of $2,919,600.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 17,037 shares in the company, valued at $3,316,081.68. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Joann A. Reed sold 2,090 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $195.77, for a total transaction of $409,159.30. Following the transaction, the director now owns 17,932 shares in the company, valued at $3,510,547.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.98% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Waters by 0.5% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,641,405 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $1,120,666,000 after acquiring an additional 30,010 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in shares of Waters by 156.1% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,358,976 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $843,852,000 after acquiring an additional 2,657,055 shares during the last quarter. Jensen Investment Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Waters by 5.3% during the second quarter. Jensen Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,057,151 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $204,654,000 after acquiring an additional 52,840 shares during the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Waters by 1.1% during the second quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 656,302 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $127,054,000 after acquiring an additional 6,880 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Champlain Investment Partners LLC grew its position in shares of Waters by 10.3% during the first quarter. Champlain Investment Partners LLC now owns 591,420 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $117,486,000 after acquiring an additional 55,395 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 96.68% of the company’s stock.

Waters Company Profile

Waters Corporation, a specialty measurement company, provides analytical workflow solutions in the United States, Europe, Asia, and internationally. It designs, manufactures, sells, and services high and ultra performance liquid chromatography technology, as well as mass spectrometry (MS) technology systems and support products, including chromatography columns, other consumable products, and post-warranty service plans.

Further Reading: Trading Strategy Methods and Types

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Waters (WAT)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Earnings History and Estimates for Waters (NYSE:WAT)

Receive News & Ratings for Waters Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Waters and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.