Waters (WAT) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Waters (NYSE:WAT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Tuesday, December 26th. Zacks Investment Research currently has $217.00 price target on the medical instruments supplier’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Waters Corp. has an excellent earnings history, having surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters. Going forward, the company believes that stable demand from pharmaceutical business, steady recurring revenues, strength in Asia and modest recovery in industrial markets will accelerate its momentum. Based on these dynamics, the company is expecting strong mid-single-digit constant currency sales increase. Even the government and academic markets have returned to the growth track after sustained weakness. Moreover, the company has been benefiting hugely from both of its LC and LC/MS platforms. Further, shares of the company have outperformed the industry’s average return over past year. However, the company’s growth will likely be hindered by contracting demand in the Americas. Also, currency headwinds are expected to somewhat hinder the company’s sales, going forward.”

A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Morgan Stanley raised shares of Waters from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating and set a $192.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, December 4th. Bank of America raised their price objective on shares of Waters from $192.00 to $202.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Friday, November 10th. Cowen reissued a hold rating and issued a $190.00 price objective on shares of Waters in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Citigroup reissued a neutral rating and issued a $180.00 price objective on shares of Waters in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, Barclays raised their target price on shares of Waters from $188.00 to $193.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $197.33.

Shares of Waters (WAT) opened at $209.75 on Tuesday. Waters has a 1 year low of $137.56 and a 1 year high of $210.08. The company has a market cap of $16,680.00, a PE ratio of 30.94, a P/E/G ratio of 2.71 and a beta of 0.82. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66, a quick ratio of 5.71 and a current ratio of 6.16.

Waters (NYSE:WAT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The medical instruments supplier reported $1.77 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.74 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $565.58 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $555.25 million. Waters had a net margin of 24.34% and a return on equity of 23.61%. Waters’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.57 EPS. equities analysts predict that Waters will post 7.42 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Waters news, Director Thomas P. Salice sold 3,500 shares of Waters stock in a transaction on Monday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $200.03, for a total transaction of $700,105.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 20,349 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,070,410.47. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Rohit Khanna sold 26,913 shares of Waters stock in a transaction on Friday, October 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $197.93, for a total transaction of $5,326,890.09. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 13,677 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,707,088.61. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 93,159 shares of company stock valued at $18,412,172. 5.07% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Waters by 0.4% during the second quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 573 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $105,000 after purchasing an additional 2 shares during the period. Cadence Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Waters by 0.6% during the second quarter. Cadence Capital Management LLC now owns 2,216 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $407,000 after purchasing an additional 13 shares during the period. HighTower Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Waters by 1.0% in the second quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 2,280 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $420,000 after acquiring an additional 23 shares in the last quarter. Intellectus Partners LLC raised its holdings in shares of Waters by 4.9% in the second quarter. Intellectus Partners LLC now owns 667 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $123,000 after acquiring an additional 31 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Great Lakes Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Waters by 1.5% in the second quarter. Great Lakes Advisors LLC now owns 2,368 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $435,000 after acquiring an additional 35 shares in the last quarter. 92.12% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Waters

Waters Corporation is an analytical instrument manufacturer. The Company operates through two segments: Waters and TA. It designs, manufactures, sells and services high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC and together with HPLC, referred to as LC) and mass spectrometry (MS) technology systems and support products, including chromatography columns, other consumable products and post-warranty service plans.

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