Zacks Investment Research Downgrades American Water Works (AWK) to Sell

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “In the last one month, American Water Works stock has lost more than the industry it belongs to. American Water Works is subject to stringent regulations, fluctuating weather patterns and risk of accidents due to old and soiled pipelines. The company’s crew are alert, even then the current subzero temperature could result in main break and disrupt operations. High debt level is a headwind. The company continues to add customers and expand its market reach through acquisitions and organic growth. Year to date, the water utility has added 48,400 customers through closed acquisitions and organic growth and will add another 21,700 customers when the pending acquisitions are completed. The planned capital expenditure to improve its water and wastewater systems, will enable the company to provide efficient services to its expanding customer base. “

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Argus lifted their target price on American Water Works from $100.00 to $105.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 29th. Bank of America initiated coverage on American Water Works in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $95.00 target price on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co set a $89.00 target price on American Water Works and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Robert W. Baird restated a “hold” rating and issued a $82.00 target price on shares of American Water Works in a report on Sunday, October 1st. Finally, Boenning Scattergood restated a “hold” rating on shares of American Water Works in a report on Friday, September 22nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. American Water Works has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $90.51.

Shares of American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) traded down $0.96 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $86.54. The stock had a trading volume of 395,855 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,088,920. American Water Works has a one year low of $69.96 and a one year high of $92.37. The firm has a market cap of $15,410.00, a PE ratio of 29.34, a PEG ratio of 3.55 and a beta of 0.27. The company has a current ratio of 0.49, a quick ratio of 0.47 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.21.

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.08. The business had revenue of $936.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $992.58 million. American Water Works had a return on equity of 9.69% and a net margin of 15.82%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.05 EPS. sell-side analysts predict that American Water Works will post 3.01 EPS for the current year.

In other news, COO Walter Lynch sold 5,000 shares of American Water Works stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.95, for a total transaction of $449,750.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 97,667 shares in the company, valued at $8,785,146.65. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Michael A. Sgro sold 841 shares of American Water Works stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.03, for a total value of $75,715.23. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 6,856 shares of company stock worth $616,700 in the last quarter. 0.34% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of AWK. Whittier Trust Co. boosted its position in American Water Works by 1.7% during the third quarter. Whittier Trust Co. now owns 213,681 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $17,287,000 after purchasing an additional 3,607 shares during the last quarter. Forsta AP Fonden boosted its position in American Water Works by 17.5% during the third quarter. Forsta AP Fonden now owns 168,800 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $13,658,000 after purchasing an additional 25,100 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its position in American Water Works by 8.5% during the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 2,748,900 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $222,414,000 after purchasing an additional 216,451 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its position in American Water Works by 9.4% during the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,103,953 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $85,920,000 after purchasing an additional 95,303 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. boosted its position in American Water Works by 4.4% during the second quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 94,575 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $7,372,000 after purchasing an additional 3,989 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.79% of the company’s stock.

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About American Water Works

American Water Works Company, Inc is a holding company for regulated and market-based subsidiaries throughout the United States and Ontario, Canada. The Company’s Regulated Businesses segment provides water and wastewater services as public utilities in 16 states in the United States as of December 31, 2016.

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