Zacks Investment Research Lowers UGI (UGI) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of UGI (NYSE:UGI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “UGI Corporation is a holding company that, through subsidiaries, distributes, stores, transports and markets energy products and related services. They are a domestic and international retail distributor of propane and butane (which are liquefied petroleum gases (LPG)); a provider of natural gas and electric service through regulated local distribution utilities; a generator of electricity; a regional marketer of energy commodities; an owner and manager of midstream assets; and a regional provider of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and electrical contracting services. “

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Several other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Bank of America reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of UGI in a research report on Tuesday, February 27th. Barclays reaffirmed a sell rating and issued a $47.00 target price on shares of UGI in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. UGI currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $47.33.

Shares of UGI stock opened at $42.86 on Wednesday. UGI has a 12-month low of $42.51 and a 12-month high of $52.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.99, a current ratio of 0.98 and a quick ratio of 0.85. The company has a market cap of $7,538.23, a PE ratio of 13.27, a PEG ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 0.62.

UGI (NYSE:UGI) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, January 31st. The utilities provider reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.08. UGI had a net margin of 8.71% and a return on equity of 10.88%. The firm had revenue of $2.15 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.87 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.91 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 28.1% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts predict that UGI will post 2.58 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, April 1st. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.33%. UGI’s dividend payout ratio is 30.96%.

In other UGI news, insider Roger Perreault purchased 2,270 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 7th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $43.97 per share, with a total value of $99,811.90. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 21,049 shares in the company, valued at approximately $925,524.53. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO John L. Walsh sold 25,000 shares of UGI stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.84, for a total transaction of $1,096,000.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 468,166 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $20,524,397.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 2.36% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of UGI. APG Asset Management N.V. lifted its position in UGI by 37.5% during the 4th quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 2,603,255 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $101,784,000 after acquiring an additional 709,500 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in UGI by 2.8% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 16,606,853 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $779,691,000 after acquiring an additional 447,298 shares during the period. Reinhart Partners Inc. purchased a new position in UGI during the 4th quarter valued at about $20,733,000. Two Sigma Investments LP lifted its position in UGI by 823.9% during the 4th quarter. Two Sigma Investments LP now owns 423,949 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $19,904,000 after acquiring an additional 378,061 shares during the period. Finally, Thrivent Financial For Lutherans lifted its position in UGI by 411.8% during the 4th quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 304,643 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $14,303,000 after acquiring an additional 245,123 shares during the period. 78.14% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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UGI Company Profile

UGI Corporation is a holding company. The Company distributes, stores, transports and markets energy products and related services. It operates through six segments. The AmeriGas Propane segment consists of the propane distribution business of AmeriGas Partners, L.P. The UGI France segment consists of the French LPG distribution business of its subsidiaries, Antargaz, Finagaz and its liquefied petroleum gases (LPG) distribution businesses.

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