Zacks: Analysts Set $46.00 Price Target for Middlesex Water Company (MSEX)

Middlesex Water Company (NASDAQ:MSEX) has been assigned an average broker rating score of 1.00 (Strong Buy) from the one analysts that cover the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a strong buy rating. Middlesex Water’s rating score has improved by 66.7% in the last three months as a result of a number of analysts’ ratings changes.

Brokers have set a 12 month consensus price target of $46.00 for the company and are expecting that the company will post $0.33 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Middlesex Water an industry rank of 118 out of 265 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on MSEX shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Middlesex Water from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Middlesex Water from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 4th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Middlesex Water from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott restated a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 target price on shares of Middlesex Water in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th.

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ MSEX) opened at $42.04 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $687.19, a PE ratio of 33.63 and a beta of 0.43. The company has a current ratio of 0.51, a quick ratio of 0.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60. Middlesex Water has a 52-week low of $32.23 and a 52-week high of $46.39.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 9th will be paid a $0.2238 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 8th. This is a boost from Middlesex Water’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. This represents a $0.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.13%. Middlesex Water’s dividend payout ratio is 71.20%.

In other news, President Gerard L. Esposito sold 1,700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.89, for a total value of $72,913.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 3.48% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in MSEX. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Middlesex Water by 19.6% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 923,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $34,105,000 after acquiring an additional 150,958 shares during the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP bought a new stake in Middlesex Water during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $3,309,000. Nuance Investments LLC bought a new stake in Middlesex Water during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $3,011,000. ProShare Advisors LLC increased its stake in Middlesex Water by 26.2% during the 2nd quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 203,745 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $8,068,000 after purchasing an additional 42,346 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its stake in Middlesex Water by 6.5% during the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 528,400 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $20,925,000 after purchasing an additional 32,400 shares in the last quarter. 48.92% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Middlesex Water

Middlesex Water Company is a water utility company. The Company owns and operates regulated water utility and wastewater systems in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. The Company also operates water and wastewater systems under contract on behalf of municipal and private clients in New Jersey and Delaware.

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