Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Middlesex Water Company treats, stores and distributes water for residential, commercial, industrial and fire prevention purposes. “

A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on MSEX. Janney Montgomery Scott restated a buy rating and issued a $37.00 target price on shares of SeaWorld Entertainment in a report on Wednesday, May 8th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Winmark from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 14th.

Middlesex Water stock opened at $59.49 on Wednesday. Middlesex Water has a 1 year low of $42.34 and a 1 year high of $63.67. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $60.16. The stock has a market capitalization of $979.68 million, a P/E ratio of 28.60 and a beta of 0.35. The company has a current ratio of 0.32, a quick ratio of 0.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62.

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) last released its earnings results on Monday, May 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.31 by $0.08. Middlesex Water had a net margin of 25.05% and a return on equity of 14.01%. The firm had revenue of $30.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $32.00 million. As a group, analysts anticipate that Middlesex Water will post 2.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Middlesex Water news, CFO A Bruce Oconnor sold 1,700 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.06, for a total transaction of $103,802.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 19,155 shares in the company, valued at $1,169,604.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Dennis W. Doll sold 3,127 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.33, for a total transaction of $191,778.91. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 59,011 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,619,144.63. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 6,782 shares of company stock valued at $414,470. 3.49% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Middlesex Water by 1.0% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,297,466 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $69,220,000 after buying an additional 12,770 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of Middlesex Water by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 623,157 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $33,245,000 after purchasing an additional 5,500 shares during the period. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Middlesex Water by 7.6% in the first quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 245,858 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $13,766,000 after purchasing an additional 17,275 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Middlesex Water by 5.7% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 197,090 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $10,514,000 after purchasing an additional 10,712 shares during the period. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of Middlesex Water by 27.1% in the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 116,403 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,517,000 after purchasing an additional 24,814 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 54.61% of the company’s stock.

Middlesex Water Company Profile

Middlesex Water Company, together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates regulated water utility and wastewater systems. It operates in two segments, Regulated and Non-Regulated. The Regulated segment engages in collecting, treating, and distributing water on a retail and wholesale basis to residential, commercial, industrial, and fire protection customers in parts of New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

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