AquaVenture (NYSE: WAAS) and Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) are both utilities companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings, profitability, institutional ownership, valuation and risk.

Risk & Volatility

AquaVenture has a beta of 1.41, suggesting that its stock price is 41% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Aqua America has a beta of 0.59, suggesting that its stock price is 41% less volatile than the S&P 500.


Aqua America pays an annual dividend of $0.82 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.2%. AquaVenture does not pay a dividend. Aqua America pays out 61.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Aqua America has raised its dividend for 9 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for AquaVenture and Aqua America, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
AquaVenture 0 0 4 1 3.20
Aqua America 0 2 3 0 2.60

AquaVenture presently has a consensus target price of $22.00, suggesting a potential upside of 44.64%. Aqua America has a consensus target price of $38.25, suggesting a potential upside of 0.31%. Given AquaVenture’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe AquaVenture is more favorable than Aqua America.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares AquaVenture and Aqua America’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
AquaVenture $114.10 million 3.53 -$20.47 million ($1.01) -15.06
Aqua America $819.88 million 8.26 $234.18 million $1.33 28.67

Aqua America has higher revenue and earnings than AquaVenture. AquaVenture is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Aqua America, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


This table compares AquaVenture and Aqua America’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
AquaVenture -25.31% -8.45% -5.63%
Aqua America 29.38% 12.49% 3.73%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

36.8% of AquaVenture shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 51.7% of Aqua America shares are held by institutional investors. 55.9% of AquaVenture shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 0.3% of Aqua America shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.


Aqua America beats AquaVenture on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

AquaVenture Company Profile

AquaVenture Holdings Limited is a multinational provider of Water-as-a-Service solutions. The Company’s segments are Seven Seas Water and Quench. The Seven Seas Water segment provides outsourced desalination solutions and wastewater treatment for governmental, municipal, industrial and hospitality customers. The Quench segment provides bottleless filtered water coolers and other products that use filtered water as an input, such as ice machines, sparkling water dispensers and coffee brewers, to customers throughout the United States typically under multi-year contracts. The Company’s solutions utilize seawater reverse osmosis and other purification technologies to produce potable and industrial process water in high volumes for customers operating in regions with limited access to potable water. As of December 31, 2016, it operated 10 water treatment facilities in the Caribbean region and South America producing approximately eight billion gallons of purified water per year.

Aqua America Company Profile

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). Aqua Resources, Inc. provides water and wastewater service through operating and maintenance contracts with municipal authorities and other parties close to its utility companies’ service territories, and offers, through a third party, water and sewer line repair service and protection solutions to households. Aqua Infrastructure provides non-utility raw water supply services for firms in the natural gas drilling industry. The Company owns several wastewater collection systems that convey the wastewater to a municipally-owned facility for treatment.

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