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The York Water Company Upped to Strong Buy; Here's Why

On Apr 7, Zacks Investment Research upgraded The York Water Company YORW to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

The York Water Company has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the back of strong fourth-quarter 2015 results. This well-known drinking water and waste water service provider reported a positive earnings surprise of 3.85% in the fourth quarter of 2015.

In 2015, the company benefited from increased water and wastewater rates, as approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and growth in the customer base, mainly due to acquisitions. These factors are expected to continue to drive results going forward.

Upgrading and strengthening the existing water and wastewater infrastructure in the U.S. is the need of the hour. The York Water Company has been investing consistently to improve and upgrade its systems. During 2015, the company invested $13.8 million in capital projects for upgrades to its water treatment system, new water mains, routine items, and to replace a portion of its infrastructure.

To serve its expanding customer base, the company has plans to invest nearly $20.1 million in 2016 and $13.1 million in 2017. The capital outlay will be directed toward the design and construction of a new untreated water pumping station and force main, expansion, and improvements to its pipes, filtration system, facilities, and dams to ensure a safe, adequate, and reliable supply of drinking water and to maintain proper handling and disposal of wastewater.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2016 moved up 1% to $1.00 per share as 50% of the estimates were revised higher over the last 30 days. For 2017, all estimates were revised higher over the same time frame, lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.7% to $1.11 per share.

Other Stocks on the Horizon

Apart from The York Water Company, SJW Corp. SJW also sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other top-ranked stocks in the water utility space are Connecticut Water Service Inc. CTWS and Middlesex Water Co. MSEX. Both carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
YORK WATER CO (YORW): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CONN WATER SVC (CTWS): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SJW CORP (SJW): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MIDDLESEX WATER (MSEX): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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