BidaskClub upgraded shares of Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report released on Wednesday morning.

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Middlesex Water from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $50.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. Janney Montgomery Scott raised Middlesex Water from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $53.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, November 5th.

Shares of Middlesex Water stock traded down $1.22 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $51.97. The stock had a trading volume of 50,432 shares, compared to its average volume of 38,017. The company has a quick ratio of 0.32, a current ratio of 0.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58. The firm has a market cap of $852.22 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 37.66 and a beta of 0.54. Middlesex Water has a fifty-two week low of $33.96 and a fifty-two week high of $53.85.

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) last announced its earnings results on Friday, November 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.65 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $38.71 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $38.00 million. Middlesex Water had a return on equity of 13.10% and a net margin of 22.61%. Analysts anticipate that Middlesex Water will post 1.96 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 3rd. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 15th were given a dividend of $0.24 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, November 14th. This is a positive change from Middlesex Water’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.85%. Middlesex Water’s payout ratio is 69.57%.

In other news, VP A Bruce Oconnor sold 3,321 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.82, for a total transaction of $152,168.22. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 16,307 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $747,186.74. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Dennis W. Doll sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.71, for a total value of $198,840.00. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 49,849 shares in the company, valued at $2,477,993.79. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 7,578 shares of company stock worth $363,784 over the last ninety days. 3.48% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Strs Ohio raised its position in Middlesex Water by 9.4% during the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 13,900 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $586,000 after buying an additional 1,200 shares during the period. Private Advisor Group LLC acquired a new position in Middlesex Water during the second quarter valued at $333,000. Stephens Inc. AR raised its position in Middlesex Water by 12.7% during the second quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 20,795 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $877,000 after buying an additional 2,347 shares during the period. Citadel Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Middlesex Water during the second quarter valued at $625,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Middlesex Water by 5.8% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,276,638 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $53,835,000 after buying an additional 69,716 shares during the period. 54.01% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Middlesex Water

Middlesex Water Company, together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates regulated water utility and wastewater systems. It operates in two segments, Regulated and Non-Regulated. The Regulated segment engages in collecting, treating, and distributing water on a retail and wholesale basis to residential, commercial, industrial, and fire protection customers in parts of New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

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