Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL raised its position in shares of Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE:WTR) by 19.9% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 34,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 5,700 shares during the period. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL’s holdings in Aqua America were worth $1,142,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the stock. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Aqua America by 7.3% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,397,830 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $44,940,000 after buying an additional 95,204 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc raised its stake in Aqua America by 25.0% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 607,794 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $19,540,000 after buying an additional 121,405 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Aqua America by 6.9% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 16,930,599 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $544,318,000 after buying an additional 1,095,878 shares during the last quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. raised its stake in Aqua America by 13.6% in the first quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 69,171 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,224,000 after buying an additional 8,265 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP raised its stake in Aqua America by 6.9% in the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 814,082 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $26,173,000 after buying an additional 52,770 shares during the last quarter. 51.04% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE WTR) opened at 33.53 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $5.96 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.60 and a beta of 0.53. The company’s 50-day moving average is $33.57 and its 200-day moving average is $32.63. Aqua America, Inc. has a 12-month low of $28.03 and a 12-month high of $34.41.

Aqua America (NYSE:WTR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.34 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.34. Aqua America had a net margin of 28.59% and a return on equity of 12.51%. The business had revenue of $203.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $208.28 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.33 earnings per share. Aqua America’s revenue for the quarter was down .2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Aqua America, Inc. will post $1.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 16th were paid a $0.2047 dividend. This represents a $0.82 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.44%. This is a boost from Aqua America’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 14th. Aqua America’s payout ratio is presently 62.60%.

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A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub lowered shares of Aqua America from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 6th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $32.00 price target on shares of Aqua America in a report on Friday, August 25th. Northcoast Research assumed coverage on shares of Aqua America in a report on Thursday, May 25th. They set a “neutral” rating for the company. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Aqua America from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 13th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $32.25.

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

Aqua America Company Profile

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).

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

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