Jefferies Group LLC Reiterates “Hold” Rating for Waters Corporation (WAT)
Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed their hold rating on shares of Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) in a research report released on Thursday. They currently have a $175.00 price target on the medical instruments supplier’s stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Waters Corporation’s Q3 2017 earnings at $1.75 EPS, Q4 2017 earnings at $2.43 EPS, FY2017 earnings at $7.40 EPS, Q1 2018 earnings at $1.74 EPS, Q2 2018 earnings at $1.97 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $1.97 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $2.33 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $8.00 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $8.55 EPS.
Several other research firms have also recently issued reports on WAT. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated an outperform rating and set a $205.00 target price (up previously from $195.00) on shares of Waters Corporation in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. Zacks Investment Research cut Waters Corporation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday. Bank of America Corporation reiterated a neutral rating and set a $192.00 target price (up previously from $180.00) on shares of Waters Corporation in a research report on Friday, July 21st. Morgan Stanley reiterated an underweight rating and set a $183.00 target price (up previously from $174.00) on shares of Waters Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Finally, Cowen and Company reiterated a hold rating and set a $190.00 target price on shares of Waters Corporation in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $186.00.
Waters Corporation (WAT) opened at 174.11 on Thursday. Waters Corporation has a one year low of $133.35 and a one year high of $187.65. The stock has a market cap of $13.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.24 and a beta of 0.85. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $182.74 and its 200 day moving average price is $165.21.
Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The medical instruments supplier reported $1.76 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.71 by $0.05. Waters Corporation had a return on equity of 23.91% and a net margin of 24.26%. The firm had revenue of $558.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $553.22 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.58 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Waters Corporation will post $7.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
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Waters Corporation declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, May 11th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the medical instruments supplier to buy up to 7.3% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
In other Waters Corporation news, SVP Rohit Khanna sold 23,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $186.90, for a total transaction of $4,298,700.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 27,077 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,060,691.30. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Michael J. Berendt sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $174.01, for a total value of $174,010.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 23,349 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,062,959.49. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 127,078 shares of company stock valued at $22,657,923 in the last 90 days. 5.07% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Fundsmith LLP increased its position in shares of Waters Corporation by 11.3% in the first quarter. Fundsmith LLP now owns 3,432,535 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $536,540,000 after buying an additional 349,178 shares in the last quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd increased its position in shares of Waters Corporation by 1.1% in the first quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 24,422 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $3,817,000 after buying an additional 260 shares in the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its position in shares of Waters Corporation by 42.7% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 375,413 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $58,681,000 after buying an additional 112,335 shares in the last quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. purchased a new position in shares of Waters Corporation during the first quarter valued at about $272,000. Finally, Karp Capital Management Corp purchased a new position in shares of Waters Corporation during the first quarter valued at about $12,133,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 91.87% of the company’s stock.
About Waters Corporation
Waters Corporation is an analytical instrument manufacturer. The Company operates through two segments: Waters and TA. It designs, manufactures, sells and services high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC and together with HPLC, referred to as LC) and mass spectrometry (MS) technology systems and support products, including chromatography columns, other consumable products and post-warranty service plans.
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