Waters Co. (NYSE:WAT) was the target of a significant growth in short interest in the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 6,090,000 shares, a growth of 5.4% from the January 15th total of 5,780,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 458,300 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 13.3 days. Currently, 9.5% of the company’s shares are sold short.

A number of equities research analysts recently commented on WAT shares. Wells Fargo & Co started coverage on Waters in a report on Tuesday, January 7th. They issued an “underweight” rating and a $215.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Waters from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $231.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Friday, February 7th. Bank of America upgraded Waters from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, January 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus started coverage on Waters in a report on Thursday, November 14th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $210.00 price objective for the company. Finally, TheStreet downgraded Waters from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 29th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $207.13.

Shares of Waters stock opened at $216.06 on Friday. Waters has a 1 year low of $199.11 and a 1 year high of $255.21. The business has a 50-day moving average of $230.32 and a two-hundred day moving average of $221.40. The company has a market capitalization of $13.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.61, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.76 and a beta of 1.10. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 11.40, a current ratio of 0.74 and a quick ratio of 0.55.

Waters (NYSE:WAT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 4th. The medical instruments supplier reported $3.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $3.01 by $0.19. Waters had a return on equity of 172.16% and a net margin of 24.61%. The company had revenue of $716.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $714.34 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $2.87 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Waters will post 9.37 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, SVP Francis Kim sold 6,488 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $220.06, for a total transaction of $1,427,749.28. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 2,668 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $587,120.08. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Edward Conard sold 1,112 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $221.97, for a total value of $246,830.64. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 68,510 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,207,164.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 12,794 shares of company stock worth $2,893,456 in the last ninety days. 1.14% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in WAT. Great Diamond Partners LLC bought a new position in shares of Waters during the fourth quarter worth about $39,000. Loring Wolcott & Coolidge Fiduciary Advisors LLP MA acquired a new position in Waters during the third quarter valued at approximately $51,000. Thor Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Waters during the third quarter valued at approximately $52,000. Bridger Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Waters during the third quarter valued at approximately $70,000. Finally, Private Ocean LLC acquired a new position in Waters during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $81,000. Institutional investors own 96.66% of the company’s stock.

About Waters

Waters Corporation, a specialty measurement company, provides analytical workflow solutions in Asia, the Americas, and Europe. It operates through two segments, Waters and TA. The company designs, manufactures, sells, and services high and ultra-performance liquid chromatography, as well as mass spectrometry (MS) technology systems and support products, including chromatography columns, other consumable products, and post-warranty service plans.

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