The York Water Company YORW is making significant investments to build and improve its communities’ infrastructure. Per its 2018 Annual Report, it has invested nearly $55 million for infrastructure improvements in the past three years.
Estimates for the company have been revised upward in the past 90 days, reflecting analysts’ confidence in the stock. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 and 2020 earnings per share has moved up 1.8% and 0.8%, respectively, in the said period.
Let’s focus on the factors that make The York Water an attractive stock at the moment.
Zacks Rank & Surprise History
The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
The York Water’s average four-quarter positive earnings surprise is 0.77%.
Price Appreciation & Growth Estimates
In the past three months, the stock has gained 12.9% compared with the industry’s growth of 5.2%.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 earnings per share is pegged at $1.13 on $51 million revenues. The bottom and top lines indicate a 8.17% and 5.29% year-over-year increase, respectively.
The consensus mark for 2020 earnings is pegged at $1.17 per share on revenues of $53 million. The bottom line translates to a 4.44% increase and the top line suggests a 3.92% improvement on a year-over-year basis.
Debt/Capital & Return on Equity (ROE)
The company’s current debt to capital ratio is pegged at 42.67%, lower than the industry’s 42.72% and the Zacks S&P 500 composite’s 43.30%.
ROE is a measure of a company’s efficiency in utilizing shareholders’ funds. The company’s ROE for the trailing 12 months is 11.06%, higher than the industry’s 9.30%.
Steady Dividend Payment
The Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of 17.33 cents payable on Oct 15, 2019 to shareholders as of record on Sep 30, 2019. This is the 595th consecutive dividend payout by the company. It is the oldest publicly-traded company in the nation that never missed a dividend in more than 200 years.
Other Key Picks
Some other top-ranked stocks in the same sector include American States Water Company AWR, Alliant Energy Corp. LNT and IDACORP, Inc. IDA. All the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2.
Notably, 2019 earnings estimates for American States Water, IDACORP and Alliant Energy have moved up 6%, 0.4% and 0.4% in the past 60 days to $2.11, $4.48 and $1.12 per share, respectively. All the stocks have outperformed the industry in a year’s time.
American States Water and IDACORP have average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 5.91% and 7.79%, respectively. Alliant Energy’s long-term (three to five years) earnings growth rate is pegged at 5.50%.
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