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Reasons to Add American Water Works (AWK) to Your Portfolio

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American Water Works Company Inc.’s (AWK - Free Report) planned capital investment in infrastructure will allow the company to provide quality services to its expanding customer base. Given its growth prospects and strong ROE, AWK makes for a solid investment option in the utility sector.

Let’s focus on the factors that make this currently Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company a strong investment pick at the moment.

Growth Projections

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for American Water Works’ 2024 EPS has increased 0.96% to $5.22 per share in the past 60 days. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2024 revenues is pegged at $4.27 billion, which implies a year-over-year increase of 0.82%.

The company’s (three to five years) earnings growth rate is pegged at 8%.

Return on Equity

Return on equity (ROE) indicates how efficiently a company has been utilizing funds to generate higher returns. Currently, AWK’s ROE is 9.7%, higher than the industry’s average of 9.66%. This indicates that the company has been utilizing funds more constructively than its peers in the utility sector.

Debt Position

AWK’s times interest earned ratio (TIE) at the end of the fourth quarter of 2023 was 3.6. The TIE ratio of more than 1 indicates that the company will be able to meet its interest payment obligations in the near term without any problems.

Currently, American Water Works’ total debt to capital is 55.81%, better than the sector’s average of 60.32%.

Dividend History

AWK consistently increased its shareholder value by paying dividends. Currently, its quarterly dividend is 70.75 cents per share, resulting in an annualized dividend of $2.83 per share. The company expects its dividend per share to increase 7-9% over the long term. The company’s current dividend yield is 2.39%, better than the Zacks S&P 500 composite’s 1.3%.

Systematic Investments

American Water Works plans to invest $3.1 billion in 2024 to strengthen and expand its water and wastewater infrastructure, with a major portion utilized for infrastructure improvements in Regulated Businesses. Over the long term, the company aims to invest in the range of $16-$17 billion in the 2024-2028 period and in the band of $34-$38 billion during 2024-2033.

Price Performance

In the past month, the stock has decreased 0.3% compared with the sector’s 5.8% decline.

Zacks Investment Research
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Other Stocks to Consider

A few other top-ranked stocks from the same industry are American States Water (AWR - Free Report) , Primo Water (PRMW - Free Report) and Consolidated Water (CWCO - Free Report) , each holding a Zacks Rank #2 at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

AWR’s long-term earnings growth rate is 6.3%. The company delivered an average earnings surprise of 3.12% in the last four quarters.

PRMW’s long-term earnings growth rate is 12.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Primo Water’s 2024 EPS is pegged at 88 cents, which implies a year-over-year improvement of 41.94%.

CWCO’s long-term earnings growth rate is 8%. The company delivered an average earnings surprise of 61.56% in the last four quarters.


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