Waters Corporation (WAT) Upgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Waters Corporation (WAT) Upgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Waters Corp.’s fourth-quarter 2016 earnings grew an impressive 12.8% from the prior-year quarter tally, and topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.3%. In the past one month, shares of Water Corp. have outperformed the Zacks Classified Instruments-Scientific industry. Going forward, the company believes strength in end markets, stable demand from pharmaceutical business, growth in recurring revenue and balanced growth rates from other end-markets will accelerate its growth momentum. However on the flip side, escalating debt levels and related servicing costs could pressure margins, going forward. Waters Corp. also intends to increase its spending on research and development in the coming quarters, which although beneficial in the long run, will push expenses higher and hurt immediate profits. Further, currency headwinds are expected to somewhat hinder the company’s sales, going forward.”

Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Cantor Fitzgerald set a $170.00 price objective on Waters Corporation and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a buy rating and issued a $160.00 price target on shares of Waters Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, January 18th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a hold rating and issued a $145.00 price target (down previously from $150.00) on shares of Waters Corporation in a research note on Friday, October 28th. Barclays PLC reissued a hold rating and issued a $148.00 price target on shares of Waters Corporation in a research note on Monday, January 9th. Finally, William Blair raised Waters Corporation from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research note on Friday, January 6th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. Waters Corporation presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $153.73.

Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) traded up 1.12% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $144.42. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 218,035 shares. Waters Corporation has a 1-year low of $112.00 and a 1-year high of $162.53. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $138.64 and its 200-day moving average price is $147.95. The company has a market capitalization of $11.61 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.53 and a beta of 0.91.

Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 24th. The company reported $2.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.13 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $629 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $616.85 million. Waters Corporation had a return on equity of 24.47% and a net margin of 24.06%. The business’s revenue was up 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.96 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Waters Corporation will post $7.00 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. increased its stake in shares of Waters Corporation by 2.1% in the second quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 136,865 shares of the company’s stock valued at $19,251,000 after buying an additional 2,750 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new stake in shares of Waters Corporation during the second quarter valued at about $10,606,000. Diversified Trust Co acquired a new stake in shares of Waters Corporation during the second quarter valued at about $204,000. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. increased its stake in shares of Waters Corporation by 47.2% in the second quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 7,684 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,081,000 after buying an additional 2,463 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Tokio Marine Asset Management Co. Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Waters Corporation by 10.0% in the second quarter. Tokio Marine Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 3,021 shares of the company’s stock valued at $425,000 after buying an additional 275 shares in the last quarter. 91.33% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Waters Corporation

Waters Corporation is an analytical instrument manufacturer. The Company designs, manufactures, distributes and services instrument systems, columns and other chemistry consumables that are integrated and used along with other analytical instruments. The Company operates through two segments: Waters Division and TA Division.

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