Zacks: Brokerages Set $64.00 Target Price for Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX)

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) has earned a consensus broker rating score of 1.00 (Strong Buy) from the one analysts that provide coverage for the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a strong buy recommendation.

Analysts have set a twelve-month consensus price target of $64.00 for the company and are predicting that the company will post $0.72 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Middlesex Water an industry rank of 114 out of 256 based on the ratings given to related companies.

MSEX has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered Middlesex Water from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 7th. BidaskClub upgraded Middlesex Water from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott upgraded Middlesex Water from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $58.00 to $66.00 in a report on Wednesday, May 8th.

NASDAQ MSEX traded up $0.49 on Friday, reaching $60.90. 5,334 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 69,409. Middlesex Water has a one year low of $43.12 and a one year high of $63.67. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.00 billion, a PE ratio of 31.07 and a beta of 0.34. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $59.97 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $58.32. The company has a current ratio of 0.31, a quick ratio of 0.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64.

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.49 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.06). Middlesex Water had a net margin of 24.95% and a return on equity of 13.43%. The company had revenue of $33.39 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $36.00 million. Sell-side analysts forecast that Middlesex Water will post 1.97 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 3rd. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.24 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 14th. This represents a $0.96 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.58%. Middlesex Water’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 48.98%.

In other news, VP Lorrie Beth Ginegaw sold 650 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.48, for a total value of $39,962.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 5,779 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $355,292.92. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Robert K. Fullagar sold 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.39, for a total value of $30,695.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 1,900 shares in the company, valued at $116,641. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 1,955 shares of company stock worth $118,890. Corporate insiders own 3.49% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Summit Global Investments acquired a new position in shares of Middlesex Water in the 2nd quarter valued at $729,000. Nuveen Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Middlesex Water in the 2nd quarter valued at $4,021,000. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD grew its holdings in shares of Middlesex Water by 9.7% in the 2nd quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 1,145,664 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $67,881,000 after buying an additional 101,460 shares during the period. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. grew its holdings in shares of Middlesex Water by 3,800.0% in the 2nd quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 702 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $42,000 after buying an additional 684 shares during the period. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Middlesex Water by 20.9% in the 2nd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 19,186 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,137,000 after buying an additional 3,312 shares during the period. 54.41% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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