Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Waters (NYSE:WAT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Saturday morning.

According to Zacks, “Waters Corp. has an excellent earnings history, having surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters. Going forward, the company believes that stable demand from pharmaceutical business, steady recurring revenues, strength in Asia and modest recovery in industrial markets will accelerate its momentum. Based on these dynamics, the company is expecting strong mid-single-digit constant currency sales increase. Even the government and academic markets have returned to the growth track after sustained weakness. However, the company’s growth will likely be hindered by contracting demand in the Americas. Waters Corp. also intends to increase its spending on research and development in the coming quarters, which, although beneficial in the long run, will push expenses higher and hurt immediate profits. Further, shares of Waters Corp. have underperformed the industry’s average return over past six months.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. BTIG Research began coverage on Waters in a research note on Friday. They issued a buy rating and a $230.00 price objective for the company. Evercore ISI assumed coverage on Waters in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. They set an in-line rating and a $198.00 target price on the stock. Morgan Stanley raised Waters from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating and set a $192.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, December 4th. Bank of America raised their target price on Waters from $192.00 to $202.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, November 10th. Finally, Cowen reissued a hold rating and set a $190.00 target price on shares of Waters in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Waters currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $197.33.

Shares of Waters (NYSE WAT) traded up $2.53 on Friday, hitting $204.76. The stock had a trading volume of 483,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 362,300. The company has a quick ratio of 5.71, a current ratio of 6.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66. The stock has a market cap of $16,290.00, a PE ratio of 30.20, a PEG ratio of 2.71 and a beta of 0.82. Waters has a fifty-two week low of $136.14 and a fifty-two week high of $205.29.

Waters (NYSE:WAT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The medical instruments supplier reported $1.77 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.74 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $565.58 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $555.25 million. Waters had a return on equity of 23.61% and a net margin of 24.34%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.57 EPS. research analysts forecast that Waters will post 7.42 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Waters news, SVP Rohit Khanna sold 26,913 shares of Waters stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $197.93, for a total transaction of $5,326,890.09. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 13,677 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,707,088.61. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Joann A. Reed sold 1,386 shares of Waters stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $194.07, for a total value of $268,981.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 93,159 shares of company stock worth $18,412,172 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 5.07% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WAT. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its position in Waters by 20,670.6% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,929,793 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $354,773,000 after buying an additional 1,920,502 shares during the period. Harding Loevner LP increased its position in Waters by 207.1% during the third quarter. Harding Loevner LP now owns 2,768,174 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $158,275,000 after buying an additional 1,866,848 shares during the period. Koch Industries Inc. increased its position in Waters by 36,932.0% during the second quarter. Koch Industries Inc. now owns 534,742 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $532,000 after buying an additional 533,298 shares during the period. Fundsmith LLP increased its holdings in shares of Waters by 11.7% in the second quarter. Fundsmith LLP now owns 3,833,955 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $704,834,000 after purchasing an additional 401,420 shares during the period. Finally, Mackenzie Financial Corp increased its holdings in shares of Waters by 157.5% in the third quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp now owns 651,400 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $116,939,000 after purchasing an additional 398,438 shares during the period. 92.12% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Waters

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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