LS Investment Advisors LLC Boosts Stake in Aqua America, Inc. (WTR)

LS Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE:WTR) by 19.5% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 14,197 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 2,319 shares during the period. LS Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Aqua America were worth $473,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Russell Investments Group Ltd. bought a new position in Aqua America during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $751,000. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Aqua America by 26.4% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 227,460 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $6,833,000 after buying an additional 47,468 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. raised its position in shares of Aqua America by 17.5% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 51,700 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,553,000 after buying an additional 7,700 shares during the last quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co raised its position in shares of Aqua America by 1.0% in the first quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 10,053 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $324,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Charter Trust Co. raised its position in shares of Aqua America by 2.4% in the first quarter. Charter Trust Co. now owns 12,629 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $406,000 after buying an additional 294 shares during the last quarter. 50.90% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE WTR) traded up 0.06% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $34.25. The stock had a trading volume of 350,137 shares. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $33.26 and a 200 day moving average of $32.09. Aqua America, Inc. has a 12-month low of $28.03 and a 12-month high of $34.41. The firm has a market cap of $6.08 billion, a PE ratio of 26.15 and a beta of 0.52.

Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.34 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.34. Aqua America had a return on equity of 12.51% and a net margin of 28.59%. The firm had revenue of $203.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $208.28 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.33 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down .2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Aqua America, Inc. will post $1.36 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.2047 per share. This is an increase from Aqua America’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. The ex-dividend date is Monday, August 14th. This represents a $0.82 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.39%. Aqua America’s dividend payout ratio is presently 58.78%.

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A number of equities analysts have issued reports on WTR shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered Aqua America from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 12th. Northcoast Research started coverage on Aqua America in a research report on Thursday, May 25th. They issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. Finally, BidaskClub raised Aqua America from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 15th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. Aqua America currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $32.25.

In other Aqua America news, Director Richard H. Glanton sold 4,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.83, for a total value of $137,886.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 2,207 shares in the company, valued at approximately $72,455.81. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, COO Richard Scott Fox sold 5,750 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.89, for a total value of $189,117.50. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 18,788 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $617,937.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.25% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

About Aqua America

Aqua America, Inc is a holding company. The Company is engaged in providing water or wastewater services concentrated in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, North Carolina, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia. The Company is the holding company for its primary subsidiary, Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc Its market-based activities are conducted through Aqua Resources, Inc (Aqua Resources) and Aqua Infrastructure, LLC (Aqua Infrastructure).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Aqua America (NYSE:WTR)

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