Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) to “Buy”

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $103.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is a utility company engaged in natural gas distribution and transmission, propane distribution and marketing, advanced information services and other related businesses.Chesapeake’s three natural gas distribution divisions serve residential, commercial and industrial customers in southern Delaware, Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Florida. The Company’s natural gas transmission subsidiary operates an interstate pipeline system that transports gas from various points in Pennsylvania to Delaware and Maryland distribution divisions. “

CPK has been the topic of a number of other research reports. ValuEngine raised shares of Chesapeake Utilities from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday. Maxim Group reissued a buy rating and issued a $110.00 price target (up previously from $100.00) on shares of Chesapeake Utilities in a research note on Friday, August 9th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reissued a hold rating on shares of Chesapeake Utilities in a research note on Monday, June 10th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. Chesapeake Utilities currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $98.81.

Chesapeake Utilities stock opened at $92.71 on Tuesday. The company has a fifty day moving average of $92.95. Chesapeake Utilities has a 1 year low of $77.20 and a 1 year high of $96.27. The firm has a market cap of $1.51 billion, a PE ratio of 28.01, a P/E/G ratio of 3.52 and a beta of 0.24. The company has a quick ratio of 0.27, a current ratio of 0.30 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55.

Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.54 by ($0.04). Chesapeake Utilities had a net margin of 8.62% and a return on equity of 11.42%. The company had revenue of $130.90 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $169.40 million. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Chesapeake Utilities will post 3.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 13th will be paid a dividend of $0.405 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 12th. This represents a $1.62 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.75%. Chesapeake Utilities’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 48.94%.

In other Chesapeake Utilities news, insider John R. Schimkaitis sold 2,500 shares of Chesapeake Utilities stock in a transaction on Monday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.20, for a total transaction of $235,500.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 4.18% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its stake in Chesapeake Utilities by 40.6% during the 4th quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 398 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $32,000 after purchasing an additional 115 shares during the last quarter. Tradewinds Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Chesapeake Utilities by 80.0% during the 1st quarter. Tradewinds Capital Management LLC now owns 450 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $41,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Krane Funds Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Chesapeake Utilities during the 2nd quarter worth $59,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Chesapeake Utilities during the 1st quarter worth $83,000. Finally, US Bancorp DE boosted its stake in Chesapeake Utilities by 15.5% during the 2nd quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 1,800 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $171,000 after purchasing an additional 241 shares during the last quarter. 65.32% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Chesapeake Utilities

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, a diversified energy company, engages in regulated and unregulated energy businesses. The company operates in two segments, Regulated Energy and Unregulated Energy. The Regulated Energy segment engages in the distribution of natural gas in Delaware, Maryland, and Florida; distribution of electricity in Florida; and transmission of natural gas on the Delmarva Peninsula and in Florida.

Read More: What does an equal weight rating mean?

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