American States Water (NYSE:AWR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of American States Water have outperformed the industry in the last 12 months.  The company’s strength lies in an expanding customer base, extensive water rights and strong credit ratings. Further, it makes systematic investments to strengthen the existing infrastructure. In addition, new water rates will help boost its margins. American States Water’s main drawback is its heavy dependence on a single state, California, for majority of its earnings. Plus, the company’s highly-regulated operations and risk of water contamination leading to an increase in operating costs could adversely impact its results. “

Separately, Wells Fargo & Co increased their target price on shares of American States Water from $46.00 to $48.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $50.67.

Shares of American States Water (NYSE AWR) opened at $55.80 on Monday. American States Water has a 12 month low of $41.14 and a 12 month high of $58.44. The firm has a market cap of $2,050.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.49, a PEG ratio of 7.78 and a beta of 0.48. The company has a quick ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61.

American States Water (NYSE:AWR) last announced its earnings results on Monday, November 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by ($0.01). American States Water had a net margin of 15.28% and a return on equity of 13.34%. The firm had revenue of $124.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $145.78 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.59 EPS. The company’s revenue was up .5% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts expect that American States Water will post 1.72 EPS for the current year.

In other news, insider Denise L. Kruger sold 1,250 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.88, for a total value of $67,350.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 8,216 shares in the company, valued at $442,678.08. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Anne M. Holloway sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.00, for a total transaction of $55,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 38,399 shares in the company, valued at $2,111,945. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 5,025 shares of company stock worth $279,898. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its holdings in shares of American States Water by 59.2% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 13,514 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $641,000 after purchasing an additional 5,023 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of American States Water by 5.3% in the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 334,952 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $15,880,000 after purchasing an additional 16,830 shares during the last quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of American States Water by 158.0% in the third quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC now owns 21,094 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,039,000 after purchasing an additional 12,917 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its holdings in shares of American States Water by 10.9% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 257,923 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $12,229,000 after purchasing an additional 25,400 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Invictus RG bought a new position in shares of American States Water in the third quarter worth about $253,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.98% of the company’s stock.

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About American States Water

American States Water Company (AWR) is a holding company. The Company is the parent company of Golden State Water Company (GSWC) and American States Utility Services, Inc (ASUS), as well as ASUS’ subsidiaries, such as Fort Bliss Water Services Company (FBWS), Terrapin Utility Services, Inc (TUS), Old Dominion Utility Services, Inc (ODUS), Palmetto State Utility Services, Inc (PSUS) and Old North Utility Services, Inc (ONUS).

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