Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Middlesex Water Company (NASDAQ:MSEX) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Middlesex Water Company treats, stores and distributes water for residential, commercial, industrial and fire prevention purposes. “

MSEX has been the topic of several other reports. BidaskClub downgraded Middlesex Water from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, August 10th. ValuEngine upgraded Middlesex Water from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, August 4th.

Shares of Middlesex Water (MSEX) opened at 39.02 on Thursday. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $38.42 and its 200 day moving average price is $37.72. The company has a market capitalization of $637.47 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.45 and a beta of 0.41. Middlesex Water has a 52-week low of $32.23 and a 52-week high of $44.48.

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.33 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.38 by ($0.05). The firm had revenue of $33.01 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $34.00 million. Middlesex Water had a return on equity of 9.95% and a net margin of 16.46%. On average, analysts predict that Middlesex Water will post $1.48 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 11th were issued a dividend of $0.2113 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 9th. This represents a $0.85 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.17%. Middlesex Water’s payout ratio is currently 63.91%.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BB&T Investment Services Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Middlesex Water in the 2nd quarter valued at $119,000. Legal & General Group Plc increased its holdings in shares of Middlesex Water by 4.1% in the 2nd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 4,101 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $162,000 after acquiring an additional 161 shares during the period. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Middlesex Water in the 2nd quarter valued at $207,000. ELCO Management Co. LLC purchased a new position in shares of Middlesex Water in the 2nd quarter valued at $208,000. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of Middlesex Water in the 1st quarter valued at $235,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 49.11% of the company’s stock.

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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