Morgan Stanley Reiterates “Underweight” Rating for Waters Corporation (WAT)
Morgan Stanley reiterated their underweight rating on shares of Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) in a research note released on Wednesday morning. The firm currently has a $183.00 price objective on the medical instruments supplier’s stock, up from their prior price objective of $174.00.
A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Janney Montgomery Scott upgraded shares of Waters Corporation from a neutral rating to a buy rating and lifted their price target for the company from $185.00 to $200.00 in a report on Monday, May 1st. Deutsche Bank AG restated a buy rating and issued a $183.00 target price (up from $166.00) on shares of Waters Corporation in a report on Saturday, April 29th. Cowen and Company boosted their target price on shares of Waters Corporation from $160.00 to $175.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a report on Wednesday, April 26th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Waters Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $178.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, April 24th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald restated a buy rating and issued a $190.00 target price (up from $170.00) on shares of Waters Corporation in a report on Tuesday, April 25th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $186.00.
Shares of Waters Corporation (NYSE WAT) opened at 174.11 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $13.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.24 and a beta of 0.85. Waters Corporation has a 52-week low of $133.35 and a 52-week high of $187.65. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $182.74 and its 200 day moving average is $165.21.
Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The medical instruments supplier reported $1.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.71 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $558.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $553.22 million. Waters Corporation had a net margin of 24.26% and a return on equity of 23.91%. Waters Corporation’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.58 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Waters Corporation will post $7.38 EPS for the current year.
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Waters Corporation declared that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, May 11th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the medical instruments supplier to purchase up to 7.3% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, SVP Rohit Khanna sold 23,000 shares of Waters Corporation stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 9th. The shares were 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 directly owns 27,077 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,060,691.30. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Eugene G. Cassis sold 4,280 shares of Waters Corporation stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $184.27, for a total transaction of $788,675.60. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 22,047 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,062,600.69. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 142,078 shares of company stock valued at $25,233,423. 5.07% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Kentucky Retirement Systems purchased a new position in Waters Corporation during the fourth quarter worth approximately $786,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund purchased a new position in Waters Corporation during the fourth quarter worth approximately $351,000. Highbridge Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Waters Corporation during the fourth quarter worth approximately $5,298,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its position in Waters Corporation by 1,750.0% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 3,700 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $497,000 after buying an additional 3,500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. boosted its position in Waters Corporation by 2.5% in the first quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 69,039 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $10,792,000 after buying an additional 1,707 shares in the last quarter. 91.79% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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