Versor Investments LP Sells 6,300 Shares of Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRG)

Versor Investments LP lowered its position in shares of Essential Utilities, Inc. (NYSE:WTRGFree Report) by 21.7% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 22,667 shares of the company’s stock after selling 6,300 shares during the quarter. Versor Investments LP’s holdings in Essential Utilities were worth $847,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Essential Utilities by 0.4% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 27,168,585 shares of the company’s stock valued at $932,698,000 after purchasing an additional 99,560 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp boosted its position in shares of Essential Utilities by 0.7% during the third quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 3,386,733 shares of the company’s stock valued at $116,267,000 after buying an additional 24,991 shares during the last quarter. Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. grew its holdings in Essential Utilities by 11.4% during the fourth quarter. Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. now owns 3,069,377 shares of the company’s stock worth $114,641,000 after buying an additional 313,277 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc raised its position in Essential Utilities by 6.1% in the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 2,918,202 shares of the company’s stock valued at $100,182,000 after buying an additional 166,891 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. lifted its stake in Essential Utilities by 9.2% during the 4th quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,931,118 shares of the company’s stock valued at $72,127,000 after acquiring an additional 162,556 shares in the last quarter. 74.78% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Essential Utilities Price Performance

Shares of WTRG stock traded up $0.46 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $39.24. The stock had a trading volume of 1,377,581 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,721,250. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $36.26 and its 200 day simple moving average is $36.05. The firm has a market capitalization of $10.73 billion, a PE ratio of 18.60, a PEG ratio of 3.42 and a beta of 0.80. Essential Utilities, Inc. has a 12 month low of $32.07 and a 12 month high of $43.26. The company has a current ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 0.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.13.

Essential Utilities (NYSE:WTRGGet Free Report) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 23rd. The company reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.49 by $0.01. Essential Utilities had a net margin of 29.52% and a return on equity of 8.62%. The firm had revenue of $479.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $708.50 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.44 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 32.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Essential Utilities, Inc. will post 1.97 EPS for the current year.

Essential Utilities Increases Dividend

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, June 1st. Investors of record on Friday, May 10th will be given a $0.3071 dividend. This represents a $1.23 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.13%. This is a boost from Essential Utilities’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.31. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 9th. Essential Utilities’s dividend payout ratio is 57.82%.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

A number of research analysts have issued reports on WTRG shares. Robert W. Baird reduced their price objective on Essential Utilities from $44.00 to $43.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, May 6th. Evercore ISI lowered their price objective on shares of Essential Utilities from $51.00 to $42.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, March 4th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $43.00.

Check Out Our Latest Analysis on WTRG

Insider Activity at Essential Utilities

In other news, CAO Robert A. Rubin sold 5,565 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.21, for a total value of $207,073.65. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 57,756 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,149,100.76. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. In related news, CAO Robert A. Rubin sold 5,565 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.21, for a total transaction of $207,073.65. Following the transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 57,756 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,149,100.76. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CAO Robert A. Rubin sold 2,023 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.56, for a total transaction of $73,960.88. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 13,358 shares in the company, valued at approximately $488,368.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Essential Utilities Company Profile

(Free Report)

Essential Utilities, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates regulated utilities that provide water, wastewater, or natural gas services in the United States. The company operates through Regulated Water and Regulated Natural Gas segments. It offers water services through operating and maintenance contract with municipal authorities and other parties.

Further Reading

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

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