Franklin Resources Inc. Acquires 652,202 Shares of Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRG)

Franklin Resources Inc. grew its holdings in Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRGGet Rating) by 40.9% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 2,248,121 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 652,202 shares during the quarter. Franklin Resources Inc.’s holdings in Essential Utilities were worth $103,076,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. Hazlett Burt & Watson Inc. bought a new position in shares of Essential Utilities in the 1st quarter valued at about $25,000. MCF Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Essential Utilities in the 1st quarter valued at about $38,000. 1832 Asset Management L.P. bought a new position in shares of Essential Utilities in the 1st quarter valued at about $38,000. Herold Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of Essential Utilities in the 1st quarter valued at about $41,000. Finally, ACG Wealth bought a new position in shares of Essential Utilities in the 2nd quarter valued at about $41,000. Institutional investors own 69.79% of the company’s stock.

Essential Utilities Stock Performance

Shares of WTRG stock opened at $48.30 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.16, a quick ratio of 0.37 and a current ratio of 0.64. The company has a market capitalization of $12.67 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.29, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.38 and a beta of 0.77. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $43.70 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $46.18. Essential Utilities, Inc. has a 52 week low of $38.50 and a 52 week high of $53.93.

Essential Utilities Announces Dividend

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 11th will be issued a dividend of $0.287 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 9th. This represents a $1.15 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.38%. Essential Utilities’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 64.97%.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

WTRG has been the topic of several recent research reports. Robert W. Baird raised their target price on shares of Essential Utilities from $50.00 to $54.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, August 5th. StockNews.com upgraded shares of Essential Utilities from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday. Bank of America downgraded shares of Essential Utilities from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $52.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Friday, September 9th. HSBC upgraded shares of Essential Utilities from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the company from $53.00 to $57.00 in a research report on Thursday, August 18th. Finally, Evercore ISI cut their price target on shares of Essential Utilities to $44.00 in a research report on Thursday, October 20th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Essential Utilities has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $51.83.

About Essential Utilities

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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 contract 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.

See Also

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Essential Utilities (NYSE:WTRG)

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