Waters (WAT) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Waters (NYSE:WAT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Saturday.

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. However, the company’s growth will likely be hindered by contracting demand in the Americas. 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, shares of Waters Corp. have underperformed the industry’s average return over past six months.”

Several other research analysts have also weighed in on the stock. BTIG Research assumed coverage on shares of Waters in a research note on Friday. They set a buy rating and a $230.00 price objective on the stock. Evercore ISI assumed coverage on shares of Waters in a research note on Wednesday. They set an in-line rating and a $198.00 price objective on the stock. Morgan Stanley raised shares of Waters from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating and set a $192.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, December 4th. Bank of America lifted their target price on shares of Waters from $192.00 to $202.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Friday, November 10th. Finally, Cowen reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $190.00 target price on shares of Waters in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $196.73.

Waters (WAT) traded up $2.57 during trading on Friday, hitting $202.23. 363,300 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 387,696. The firm has a market cap of $16,080.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.83, a PEG ratio of 2.71 and a beta of 0.82. Waters has a one year low of $136.14 and a one year high of $202.85. The company has a quick ratio of 5.71, a current ratio of 6.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66.

Waters (NYSE:WAT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The medical instruments supplier reported $1.77 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.74 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $565.58 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates 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% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.57 EPS. sell-side analysts anticipate that Waters will post 7.42 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, SVP Rohit Khanna sold 26,913 shares of Waters stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $197.93, for a total transaction of $5,326,890.09. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 13,677 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,707,088.61. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, SVP Elizabeth B. Rae sold 12,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $197.95, for a total transaction of $2,375,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 18,129 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,588,635.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 93,159 shares of company stock valued at $18,412,172 in the last ninety days. 5.07% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of WAT. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Waters by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 573 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $105,000 after buying an additional 2 shares in the last quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Waters by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 2,280 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $420,000 after buying an additional 23 shares in the last quarter. Intellectus Partners LLC raised its position in shares of Waters by 4.9% in the 2nd quarter. Intellectus Partners LLC now owns 667 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $123,000 after buying an additional 31 shares in the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC raised its position in shares of Waters by 6.0% in the 2nd quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 1,145 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $210,000 after buying an additional 65 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Linscomb & Williams Inc. raised its position in shares of Waters by 3.7% in the 2nd quarter. Linscomb & Williams Inc. now owns 2,494 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $458,000 after buying an additional 90 shares in the last quarter. 92.09% 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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