Kepos Capital LP Sells 1,213 Shares of Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRG)

Kepos Capital LP reduced its stake in shares of Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRGFree Report) by 34.8% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 2,275 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,213 shares during the quarter. Kepos Capital LP’s holdings in Essential Utilities were worth $78,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Essential Utilities by 2.0% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 30,129,227 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,315,141,000 after purchasing an additional 576,448 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Essential Utilities by 0.9% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 24,683,039 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,262,044,000 after buying an additional 229,596 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Essential Utilities by 2.5% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 14,243,930 shares of the company’s stock valued at $568,475,000 after buying an additional 348,953 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of Essential Utilities in the 4th quarter valued at $206,493,000. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Essential Utilities by 6.3% in the 2nd quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,599,518 shares of the company’s stock worth $143,417,000 after purchasing an additional 213,245 shares during the last quarter. 73.01% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Evercore ISI lowered their target price on shares of Essential Utilities from $51.00 to $42.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Monday. StockNews.com lowered shares of Essential Utilities from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 15th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the company currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $45.75.

View Our Latest Stock Analysis on Essential Utilities

Essential Utilities Price Performance

NYSE:WTRG traded up $0.60 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $35.46. 1,179,649 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,837,020. Essential Utilities, Inc. has a 12 month low of $32.07 and a 12 month high of $45.29. The company has a fifty day moving average of $36.56 and a 200 day moving average of $35.81. The company has a quick ratio of 0.48, a current ratio of 0.62 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.16. The stock has a market cap of $9.69 billion, a PE ratio of 18.91, a PEG ratio of 3.12 and a beta of 0.81.

Essential Utilities (NYSE:WTRGGet Free Report) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 23rd. The company reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.49 by $0.01. Essential Utilities had a net margin of 24.26% and a return on equity of 8.68%. The firm had revenue of $479.40 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $708.50 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.44 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 32.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts anticipate that Essential Utilities, Inc. will post 2 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Essential Utilities Increases Dividend

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, June 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.3071 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 9th. This represents a $1.23 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.46%. This is a positive change from Essential Utilities’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.31. Essential Utilities’s dividend payout ratio is currently 66.13%.

About Essential Utilities

(Free Report)

Essential Utilities, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates regulated utilities that provide water, wastewater, or natural gas services in the United States. The company operates through Regulated Water and Regulated Natural Gas segments. It offers water services through operating and maintenance contract with municipal authorities and other parties.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Essential Utilities (NYSE:WTRG)

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