Shares of Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE:WTR) reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Tuesday . The stock traded as high as $36.73 and last traded at $36.44, with a volume of 668600 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $35.98.

Several research firms recently issued reports on WTR. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $32.00 target price on shares of Aqua America in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Zacks Investment Research cut Aqua America from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Wells Fargo & Company upgraded Aqua America from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $40.00 target price for the company in a research report on Thursday, October 19th. Boenning Scattergood reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 target price on shares of Aqua America in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Aqua America from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. Aqua America has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $38.20.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.48, a current ratio of 0.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01. The company has a market cap of $6,530.00, a PE ratio of 27.05, a PEG ratio of 4.18 and a beta of 0.57.

Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.43 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.43. Aqua America had a return on equity of 12.49% and a net margin of 29.38%. The firm had revenue of $215.01 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $234.40 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.41 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts anticipate that Aqua America, Inc. will post 1.36 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a dec 17 dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Investors of record on Friday, November 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.2047 per share. This represents a yield of 2.3%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 16th. Aqua America’s payout ratio is presently 61.65%.

In related news, insider Robert A. Rubin sold 12,499 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.46, for a total transaction of $430,715.54. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 80,604 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,777,613.84. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, VP David Smeltzer sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.36, for a total value of $363,600.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 71,397 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,595,994.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have purchased 75,500 shares of company stock valued at $11,325. 0.25% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in WTR. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. boosted its stake in Aqua America by 10.6% during the second quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 4,480 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $149,000 after buying an additional 431 shares during the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc lifted its stake in shares of Aqua America by 20.8% in the 2nd quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 4,701 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $157,000 after purchasing an additional 809 shares during the last quarter. Barrett Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Aqua America in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $197,000. Huntington National Bank lifted its stake in shares of Aqua America by 6.7% in the 2nd quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 5,950 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $199,000 after purchasing an additional 375 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Headinvest LLC bought a new stake in shares of Aqua America in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $203,000. 51.09% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Aqua America

Aqua America, Inc is a holding company. The Company is engaged in providing water or wastewater services concentrated in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, North Carolina, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia. The Company is the holding company for its primary subsidiary, Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc Its market-based activities are conducted through Aqua Resources, Inc (Aqua Resources) and Aqua Infrastructure, LLC (Aqua Infrastructure).

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