Unitil Corp. (NYSE:UTL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Unitil Corporation is a registered public utility holding company and the parent company of the Unitil System. “

Unitil Corp. (NYSE:UTL) opened at 39.66 on Thursday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $40.07 and its 200 day moving average is $41.06. Unitil Corp. has a 12 month low of $33.75 and a 12 month high of $45.16. The firm has a market cap of $557.30 million, a PE ratio of 22.71 and a beta of 0.19.

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Unitil Corp. (NYSE:UTL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $0.18 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.13 by $0.05. The firm earned $73 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $79.90 million. Unitil Corp. had a return on equity of 8.58% and a net margin of 6.47%. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.12 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Unitil Corp. will post $1.81 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 26th. Investors of record on Friday, August 12th were given a dividend of $0.355 per share. This represents a $1.42 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.58%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 10th. Unitil Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 81.14%.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc boosted its stake in Unitil Corp. by 5.3% in the first quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc now owns 11,107 shares of the company’s stock worth $472,000 after buying an additional 557 shares in the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC raised its stake in shares of Unitil Corp. by 16.9% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 23,639 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,004,000 after buying an additional 3,419 shares during the last quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. raised its stake in shares of Unitil Corp. by 0.3% in the first quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 21,645 shares of the company’s stock worth $920,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Unitil Corp. by 28.2% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 65,030 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,763,000 after buying an additional 14,317 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Teachers Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of Unitil Corp. by 1.1% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors Inc. now owns 34,113 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,449,000 after buying an additional 366 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 58.09% of the company’s stock.

About Unitil Corp.

Unitil Corporation (Unitil) is a public utility holding company. The Company is engaged in the local distribution of electricity and natural gas to customers throughout its service territories in the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. It operates through three segments: utility gas operations, utility electric operations and non-regulated.

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