Unitil Co. (NYSE:UTL) has earned a consensus broker rating score of 2.00 (Buy) from the two brokers that cover the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. Unitil’s rating score has improved by 33.3% from 90 days ago as a result of a number of analysts’ ratings changes.
Brokers have set a 1 year consensus price target of $47.00 for the company and are forecasting that the company will post $0.92 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Unitil an industry rank of 203 out of 265 based on the ratings given to its competitors.
A number of brokerages have weighed in on UTL. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Unitil from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, February 10th. Bank of America began coverage on shares of Unitil in a research report on Monday, December 18th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $49.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott upgraded shares of Unitil from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and cut their target price for the company from $52.00 to $50.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 26th. They noted that the move was a valuation call.
Unitil (NYSE:UTL) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.79 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.76 by $0.03. Unitil had a net margin of 7.14% and a return on equity of 9.38%. The firm had revenue of $115.40 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $107.40 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.73 earnings per share. equities research analysts expect that Unitil will post 2.14 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, February 28th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 14th were issued a dividend of $0.365 per share. This represents a $1.46 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.45%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, February 13th. This is a positive change from Unitil’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. Unitil’s payout ratio is 26.40%.
Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Unitil by 1.8% during the third quarter. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC now owns 951,407 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $47,057,000 after purchasing an additional 16,392 shares during the period. Strs Ohio lifted its holdings in shares of Unitil by 54.0% during the third quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 9,700 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $479,000 after purchasing an additional 3,400 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Unitil by 15.6% during the third quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 79,630 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,939,000 after purchasing an additional 10,718 shares during the period. Sei Investments Co. lifted its holdings in shares of Unitil by 11.2% during the third quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 28,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,400,000 after purchasing an additional 2,849 shares during the period. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Unitil by 0.9% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 784,082 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $37,880,000 after purchasing an additional 7,281 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 58.66% of the company’s stock.
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Unitil Company Profile
Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company. The Company’s principal business is the local distribution of electricity in the southeastern seacoast and state capital regions of New Hampshire and the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts and the local distribution of natural gas in southeastern New Hampshire, portions of southern Maine to the Lewiston-Auburn area and in the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts.
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