Shares of Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) have been assigned an average broker rating score of 3.00 (Hold) from the one brokers that cover the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating.

Brokers have set a twelve-month consensus target price of $53.00 for the company and are expecting that the company will post $0.42 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Middlesex Water an industry rank of 45 out of 256 based on the ratings given to related companies.

A number of research firms recently commented on MSEX. Zacks Investment Research raised Middlesex Water from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $58.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Thursday, November 8th. BidaskClub raised Middlesex Water from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 5th. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott lowered Middlesex Water from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, December 17th. They noted that the move was a valuation call.

In related news, Chairman Dennis W. Doll sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.71, for a total transaction of $198,840.00. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 49,849 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,477,993.79. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 3.48% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc lifted its position in Middlesex Water by 4.3% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 961,798 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $46,571,000 after buying an additional 40,017 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in Middlesex Water by 4.3% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 961,798 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $46,571,000 after buying an additional 40,017 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Middlesex Water by 7.0% during the third quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 28,865 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,398,000 after buying an additional 1,879 shares during the period. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC lifted its position in Middlesex Water by 56.5% during the third quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC now owns 11,730 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $568,000 after buying an additional 4,233 shares during the period. Finally, Man Group plc lifted its position in Middlesex Water by 118.0% during the third quarter. Man Group plc now owns 18,845 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $912,000 after buying an additional 10,199 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.91% of the company’s stock.

Middlesex Water stock traded down $0.32 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $55.53. The stock had a trading volume of 35,688 shares, compared to its average volume of 61,897. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a quick ratio of 0.32 and a current ratio of 0.37. The firm has a market capitalization of $910.58 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 40.24 and a beta of 0.46. Middlesex Water has a 1-year low of $34.00 and a 1-year high of $60.31.

Middlesex Water (NASDAQ:MSEX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, November 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.65 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $38.71 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $38.00 million. Middlesex Water had a return on equity of 13.10% and a net margin of 22.61%. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Middlesex Water will post 1.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

About Middlesex Water

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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