Essential Utilities Inc (NYSE: WTRG) stock fell -1.52% on Monday to $35.03 against a previous-day closing price of $35.57. With 1.23 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained lighter than its average volume of 1.46 million shares. During the session, the Utilities – Regulated Water company that operates in wider Utilities sector, reached to the highest price of $35.40 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $34.74. The 52-week range on WTRG shows that it touched its highest point at $49.89 and its lowest point at $32.07 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $47.50. With its current market cap of 9.57 billion, WTRG has annualized dividend of $1.20 while the current yield stands at 3.43%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 0.77.
Price Performance and Earnings:
Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of WTRG was up-trending over the past week, with a rise of 4.60%, but this was up by 6.41% over a month. Three-month performance dropped to -5.30% while six-month performance fell -13.55%. The stock lost -23.95% in the past year, while it has lost -26.61% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for WTRG yields 1.80 with Next year EPS estimates of 2.00. For the next quarter, that number is 0.51. This implies an EPS growth rate of 5.65% for this year and 6.97% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 5.40% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 5.64%.
Float and Shares Shorts:
At present, 273.17 million WTRG shares are outstanding with a float of 272.53 million shares on hand for trading. On Oct 30, 2023, short shares totaled 3.94 million, which was 1.44% higher than short shares on Sep 28, 2023. In addition to Mr. Christopher H. Franklin as the firm’s Chairman, President & CEO, Mr. Daniel J. Schuller serves as its Executive VP & CFO.
Through their ownership of 77.16% of WTRG’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 49.32% of WTRG, in contrast to 30.55% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 0.26%. As the largest shareholder in WTRG with 10.10% of the stake, The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds 26,726,181 shares worth 26,726,181. A second-largest stockholder of WTRG, BlackRock Fund Advisors, holds 21,788,541 shares, controlling over 8.24% of the firm’s shares. Canada Pension Plan Investment Bo is the third largest shareholder in WTRG, holding 21,661,095 shares or 8.19% stake. With a 8.19% stake in WTRG, the Canada Pension Plan is the largest stakeholder. A total of 21,661,000 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF, which owns about 2.84% of WTRG stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 7,514,984 shares valued at 251.45 million. Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF holds 2.84% of the stake in WTRG, owning 7,502,147 shares worth 251.02 million.
Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for WTRG since 0 analysts follow the stock currently. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With WTRG analysts setting a high price target of $61.00 and a low target of $40.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $47.50. Based on these targets, WTRG could surge 74.14% to reach the target high and rise by 14.19% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 35.6% from current levels.
Summary of Insider Activity:
Insiders traded WTRG stock several times over the past three months with 0 Buys and 0 Sells. In these transactions, 0 shares were bought while 0 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 35 while that of sell transactions has risen to 9 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 173,389 while 59,081 shares were sold.