Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) has received a consensus broker rating score of 1.00 (Strong Buy) from the one brokers that provide coverage for the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a strong buy rating. Middlesex Water’s rating score has improved by 66.7% in the last three months as a result of a number of analysts’ ratings changes.

Analysts have set a one year consensus price objective of $46.00 for the company and are forecasting that the company will post $0.33 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Middlesex Water an industry rank of 117 out of 265 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

A number of analysts have weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub cut shares of Middlesex Water from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 6th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Middlesex Water from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, September 21st. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price target on shares of Middlesex Water in a report on Wednesday, October 4th.

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) traded up $0.69 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $41.55. 146,477 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 43,217. The company has a market capitalization of $684.57, a PE ratio of 33.27 and a beta of 0.44. Middlesex Water has a 12-month low of $32.23 and a 12-month high of $46.74. The company has a current ratio of 0.51, a quick ratio of 0.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 9th were issued a dividend of $0.2238 per share. This represents a $0.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.15%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, November 8th. This is a positive change from Middlesex Water’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. Middlesex Water’s payout ratio is 71.20%.

In other news, President Gerard L. Esposito sold 1,700 shares of Middlesex Water stock in a transaction on Monday, October 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.89, for a total transaction of $72,913.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Bernadette M. Sohler sold 1,000 shares of Middlesex Water stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.19, for a total transaction of $45,190.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 6,900 shares of company stock worth $301,283. 3.48% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of MSEX. BB&T Investment Services Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Middlesex Water during the second quarter worth $119,000. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its holdings in Middlesex Water by 4.1% in the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 4,101 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $162,000 after buying an additional 161 shares during the period. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in Middlesex Water in the second quarter valued at $207,000. ELCO Management Co. LLC acquired a new position in Middlesex Water in the second quarter valued at $208,000. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its holdings in Middlesex Water by 15.2% in the second quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 7,313 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $290,000 after buying an additional 965 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 50.98% of the company’s stock.

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About Middlesex Water

Middlesex Water Company is a water utility company. The Company owns and operates regulated water utility and wastewater systems in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. The Company also operates water and wastewater systems under contract on behalf of municipal and private clients in New Jersey and Delaware.

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