Prudential Financial Inc. lowered its stake in shares of Aqua America Inc (NYSE:WTR) by 70.2% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 148,497 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 349,342 shares during the quarter. Prudential Financial Inc.’s holdings in Aqua America were worth $6,144,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in WTR. Jennison Associates LLC bought a new position in Aqua America in the 2nd quarter valued at $99,797,000. Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. bought a new position in Aqua America in the 2nd quarter valued at $38,367,000. Nordea Investment Management AB grew its position in Aqua America by 12,238,028.6% in the 1st quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 856,669 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $31,218,000 after acquiring an additional 856,662 shares during the last quarter. Artemis Investment Management LLP bought a new position in Aqua America in the 2nd quarter valued at $17,482,000. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. grew its position in Aqua America by 21.7% in the 1st quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,745,986 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $63,623,000 after acquiring an additional 311,577 shares during the last quarter. 65.19% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Aqua America stock traded up $0.39 during trading on Thursday, hitting $43.59. 10,600 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,189,559. The firm has a market cap of $9.37 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.91, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.93 and a beta of 0.37. The company has a current ratio of 5.31, a quick ratio of 5.27 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72. Aqua America Inc has a 52-week low of $32.09 and a 52-week high of $45.50. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $43.17 and its 200 day simple moving average is $39.78.

Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.37 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.39 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $218.90 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $221.07 million. Aqua America had a net margin of 17.18% and a return on equity of 10.13%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.37 EPS. As a group, equities analysts expect that Aqua America Inc will post 1.46 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Sunday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 16th were paid a dividend of $0.2343 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 15th. This represents a $0.94 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.15%. This is a positive change from Aqua America’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. Aqua America’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 66.67%.

Several brokerages have commented on WTR. HSBC set a $46.00 price objective on Aqua America and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 28th. Bank of America began coverage on Aqua America in a research report on Monday, July 15th. They set a “buy” rating and a $45.00 price target on the stock. UBS Group lowered Aqua America from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price target for the company from $42.00 to $45.00 in a research note on Thursday, August 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Wells Fargo & Co set a $47.00 price target on Aqua America and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 3rd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Aqua America from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $47.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday, August 22nd. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $43.00.

In related news, Director Daniel J. Hilferty III acquired 1,152 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 9th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $43.38 per share, for a total transaction of $49,973.76. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 9,872 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $428,247.36. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Daniel J. Hilferty III acquired 1,153 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 15th. The shares were bought at an average price of $43.35 per share, with a total value of $49,982.55. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 8,720 shares in the company, valued at $378,012. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 0.30% of the company’s stock.

About Aqua America

Aqua America, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates regulated utilities that provide water or wastewater services in the United States. It offers water services through operating and maintenance contracts with municipal authorities and other parties. The company also provides non-utility raw water supply services for firms in the natural gas drilling industry; and water and sewer line protection solutions, and repair services to households through third-party.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Aqua America (NYSE:WTR)

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