The Vanguard Group, Inc. has recently announced that it has increased stake in Essential Utilities Inc. (NYSE:WTRG) by 1.78%. After grabbing 26.37 million shares, the institutional investor is now in possession of 0.46 million shares of the Utilities Company. The new investment brought the stake of investor firm to 10.05% having worth around $1.13 billion. Moreover, BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its share by 1.67 million to have a control over 21.21 million shares. And SSgA Funds Management, Inc. raised its holdings to 1.49 million shares by acquiring 14.79 million shares or 5.64% of the stake.
Essential Utilities Inc. (WTRG) concluded trading on 03/15/23 at a closing price of $43.28, with 1.77 million shares of worth about $76.78 million changed hands on the day. Half year performance of the stock remained negative as price took a plunge of -7.76% during that period and on Wednesday the price saw a gain of about 1.17%. Currently the company’s common shares owned by public are about 262.72M shares, out of which, 261.88M shares are available for trading.
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According to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), insiders took part in trade of the company’s stock for 29 times over the past 12 months. They bought 15,397 shares in 26 of the transactions. In 3 selling transactions, insiders dumped 9,015 shares.
Canada Pension Plan, iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF, and Vanguard Total Stock Market Index are the top 3 mutual funds which are holding stakes in Essential Utilities Inc. Canada Pension Plan is currently holding 21.66 million shares of worth totaling $926.66 million. The company recently came buying 5372.0 shares which brought its stake up to 8.26% of the company’s outstanding shares. iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF bought 16884.0 shares, after which its hold over company’s outstanding shares expand to 2.84%, leaving 7.45 million shares with the mutual fund that have a worth of about $318.7 million. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, after buying 7.23 million shares, have now control over 2.76% of the stake in the company. It holds 52016.0 shares of worth $309.45 million.
Essential Utilities Inc. (NYSE: WTRG) started trading at $42.40, below -$0.38 from concluding price of the previous day. However, the stock later moved at a day high price of 43.46, or with a gain of 1.17%. Stock saw a price change of 1.98% in past 5 days and over the past one month there was a price change of -5.87%. Year-to-date (YTD), WTRG shares are showing a performance of -9.32% which decreased to -7.14% when we look at its performance for past 12 months. Over the period of past 52 weeks, stock dropped to lowest price of $38.50 but also hit the highest price of $52.62 during that period. The average intraday trading volume for Essential Utilities Inc. shares is 1.17 million. The stock is currently trading -0.71% below its 20-day simple moving average (SMA20), while that difference is down -5.67% for SMA50 and it goes to -6.73% lower than SMA200.
The Vanguard Group, Inc. acquired 26.37 million shares of Essential Utilities Inc. having value of about $1.13 billion. Data submitted at the U.S SEC by The Vanguard Group, Inc. revealed that the firm now holds 0.46 million shares in the company valued at close to $19974152.8, or have control over 1.78% stake in the company. Essential Utilities Inc. (NYSE: WTRG) currently have 262.72M outstanding shares and institutions hold larger chunk of about 78.00% of that. Holding of mutual funds in the company is about 25.96% while other institutional holders and individual stake holders have control over 50.38% and 0.26% of the stake respectively.
The stock has a current market capitalization of $11.46B and its 3Y-monthly beta is at 0.79. PE ratio of stock for trailing 12 months is 24.89, while it has posted earnings per share of $1.74 in the same period. Its PEG reads 3.77 and has Quick Ratio of 0.40 while making debt-to-equity ratio of 1.26. Volatility of a stock is a metric used to know how much the price of that stock is under influence and for WTRG, volatility over the week remained 2.86% while standing at 2.34% over the month.
Analysts are in expectations that Essential Utilities Inc. (WTRG) stock would likely to be making an EPS of $0.45 in the current quarter, while forecast for next quarter EPS is $0.79 and it is $1.89 for next year. For the current quarter EPS, analysts have given the company a lowest target $0.43 which is $0.45 at the higher side of the target for the same. When we compare those targets with actual EPS, we find that company posted an EPS of $0.44 in the same quarter a year ago. Stock’s fiscal year EPS is expected to rise by 6.90% while it is estimated to increase by 7.54% in next year. EPS is likely to grow at an annualized rate of 6.60% for next 5-years, compared to annual growth of 5.00% made by the stock over the past 5-years.
Digging deeper we find that several firms have released their research notes about the support levels of the stock. Most recent of them is a note released by UBS on February 06, 2023 offering a Buy rating for the stock and assigned a target price range of between $54 and $55 to it. Coverage by BofA Securities stated Essential Utilities Inc. (WTRG) stock as a Neutral in their note to investors on September 09, 2022, suggesting a price target of $52 for the stock. On August 18, 2022, HSBC Securities Upgrade their recommendations, while on April 08, 2022, HSBC Securities Downgrade their ratings for the stock with a price target of $53. Stock get an Outperform rating from Evercore ISI on March 10, 2022.
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