Cbre Clarion Securities LLC increased its holdings in Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRG) by 5.1% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 470,385 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 22,664 shares during the period. Cbre Clarion Securities LLC owned about 0.19% of Essential Utilities worth $21,050,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Essential Utilities by 5.4% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 24,702,482 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,105,437,000 after acquiring an additional 1,255,280 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Essential Utilities in the 4th quarter worth about $206,021,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its stake in Essential Utilities by 2.2% in the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 2,611,497 shares of the company’s stock worth $123,496,000 after acquiring an additional 57,246 shares in the last quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp raised its stake in shares of Essential Utilities by 29.0% during the 1st quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp now owns 2,564,472 shares of the company’s stock worth $120,810,000 after purchasing an additional 576,728 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised its stake in shares of Essential Utilities by 3.8% during the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,307,492 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,121,000 after purchasing an additional 84,818 shares in the last quarter. 71.60% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of WTRG traded up $0.30 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $48.31. 6,883 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,000,015. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.15, a quick ratio of 0.62 and a current ratio of 0.69. The firm has a market cap of $11.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.45, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.58 and a beta of 0.54. The business has a 50 day simple moving average of $46.84. Essential Utilities, Inc. has a 12-month low of $38.28 and a 12-month high of $48.89.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, June 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 14th were issued a dividend of $0.251 per share. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.08%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, May 13th. Essential Utilities’s dividend payout ratio is 63.29%.
Separately, Barclays raised their price target on Essential Utilities from $47.00 to $51.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 25th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Essential Utilities has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $49.67.
Essential Utilities Company Profile
Essential Utilities, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates regulated utilities that provide water, wastewater, or natural gas 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 a third-party.
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