Follow The Insiders And Other Key Signals: Aqua America, Inc. (WTR)

Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE:WTR) has been upgraded by Robert W. Baird, which now rates the stock as Outperform versus Neutral prior rating, according to a note issued on December 06. Analysts at Evercore ISI, started covering the stock on September 17 with a In-line rating. The stock won favor of Boenning & Scattergood analysts who expressed their confidence in it using an upgrade from Neutral to Outperform on August 20. Boenning & Scattergood analysts came out with bearish views on April 26 when the call was made. They think the stock is now Neutral compared to to their prior call for Outperform.

WTR stock dropped -0.14% in recent trade and currently has a stock-market value of $6.36B. The shares finished at $35.76, after trading as low as $35.7139 earlier in the session. It hit an intraday high Tuesday at $36.07. Trading activity significantly weakened as the volume at ready counter decreased to 424,618 shares versus 631,925 in average daily trading volume over the past 20 days. So far this year, the volume has averaged about 689,263 shares. The stock is now 11.44% above against its bear-market low of $32.09 on November 15, 2018. It has retreated -6.94% since it’s 52-week high of $38.24 reached in August. Now the market price is up 6.4% on the year and up 4.59% YTD.

Wall Street’s most bullish Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE:WTR) analysts are predicting the share price to blow past $43 per share during the next 12 months. The current median share price forecast by them is $38, suggesting that the stock could increase 6.26% in that time frame. The average price target of $38.56 calls for a nearly 7.83% increase in the stock price.

Aqua America, Inc. (WTR)’s 50 day simple moving average (SMA 50) price is $34.87 and its 200-day simple moving average (SMA 200) price is $35.41. The company’s stock currently has a total float of 177.64M shares. Its weekly volatility is hovering around 1.3% and felt 1.37% volatility in price over a month. On the upside, the share price will test short term resistance at around $35.98. On a downside, the stock is likely to find some support, which begins at $35.63. The failure to get near-term support could push it to $35.49.

When looking at valuations, Aqua America, Inc. (WTR) has a pricey P/E of 33.27x as compared to industry average of 17.12x. Moreover, it trades for 22.68 times the next 12 months of expected earnings. Also, it is trading at rather expensive levels at just over 3.17x price/book and 7.59x price/sales. Compared to others, Aqua America, Inc. is in a different league with regards to profitability, having net margins of 22.9%. To put some perspective around this, the industry’s average net margin is 28.26%. WTR’s ROE is 9.6%, which is also considerably worse than the industry’s ROE of 18.51%. It’s also not liquid in the near term, with a current ratio of 0.4. The stock has a debt/capital of 1.27.

Shares of WTR have gained 0.5% since the company’s most recent earnings report. Over the past 12 fiscal quarters, Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE:WTR) has topped consensus earnings estimates in 5 quarters (41%), missed earnings in 3 quarters (25%), whereas at 4 occasion EPS met analyst expectations. WTR last reported earnings that receded expectations. The company raked in $0.31 per share, -51.56% change on the same period last year. That was worse than consensus for $0.31. Revenue for the recent quarter stood at $205.75 million, up 1% on last year and below the $211.35 million predicted by analysts. For this quarter, Wall Street analysts forecast revenue in a range of $203 million to $208.85 million, which should be compared with $212.52 million generated last year. EPS is seen in a range of $0.29 to $0.31, against the $0.32 reported a year ago.