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Badger Meter (NYSE:BMI) Downgraded to "Hold" at StockNews.com

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StockNews.com lowered shares of Badger Meter (NYSE:BMI – Get Rating) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Thursday.

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on BMI. Northcoast Research assumed coverage on shares of Badger Meter in a report on Friday, July 15th. They issued a neutral rating on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus cut their price objective on Badger Meter from $88.00 to $79.00 in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. TheStreet upgraded Badger Meter from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Finally, Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on Badger Meter from $95.00 to $80.00 and set an underweight rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, June 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $94.67.

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Badger Meter Price Performance

NYSE BMI opened at $92.38 on Thursday. Badger Meter has a one year low of $73.20 and a one year high of $112.36. The business has a 50 day simple moving average of $95.23 and a 200 day simple moving average of $88.66. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.70 billion, a P/E ratio of 42.18 and a beta of 0.85.

Badger Meter (NYSE:BMI – Get Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.04. Badger Meter had a return on equity of 15.83% and a net margin of 12.00%. The company had revenue of $137.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $132.04 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.48 EPS. The firm's quarterly revenue was up 12.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Badger Meter will post 2.3 earnings per share for the current year.

Badger Meter Increases Dividend

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 9th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 26th were given a dividend of $0.225 per share. This represents a $0.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.97%. This is an increase from Badger Meter's previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 25th. Badger Meter's dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 41.10%.

Insider Buying and Selling

In other Badger Meter news, VP William R. A. Bergum sold 2,362 shares of the firm's stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.40, for a total value of $227,696.80. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 11,861 shares of the company's stock, valued at $1,143,400.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. 0.80% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Badger Meter

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Badger Meter by 0.6% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,991,278 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company's stock worth $497,681,000 after purchasing an additional 28,050 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Badger Meter by 0.7% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,415,426 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company's stock valued at $340,552,000 after acquiring an additional 22,329 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its position in Badger Meter by 10.6% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,070,197 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company's stock valued at $167,458,000 after purchasing an additional 198,228 shares during the last quarter. Impax Asset Management Group plc raised its position in Badger Meter by 5.4% during the 4th quarter. Impax Asset Management Group plc now owns 1,265,943 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company's stock valued at $134,272,000 after purchasing an additional 65,198 shares during the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its holdings in shares of Badger Meter by 8.4% during the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,010,400 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company's stock worth $81,732,000 after acquiring an additional 78,363 shares during the period. 86.42% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Badger Meter

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Badger Meter, Inc manufactures and markets flow measurement, quality, control, and communication solutions in the United States, Asia, Canada, Europe, Mexico, the Middle East, and internationally. It offers mechanical or static water meters, and related radio and software technologies and services to municipal water utilities.

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