Shares of UNITIL Corporation (NYSE:UTL) have been given a consensus broker rating score of 3.00 (Hold) from the one brokers that cover the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating.

Brokerages have set a 1-year consensus price target of $50.00 for the company and are anticipating that the company will post $0.11 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given UNITIL Corporation an industry rank of 92 out of 265 based on the ratings given to related companies.

Several research analysts recently issued reports on UTL shares. Zacks Investment Research cut UNITIL Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. BidaskClub cut UNITIL Corporation from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st.

UNITIL Corporation (UTL) traded up 0.30% on Monday, hitting $50.65. The stock had a trading volume of 29,775 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $49.44 and its 200 day moving average is $46.83. UNITIL Corporation has a 1-year low of $37.31 and a 1-year high of $52.20. The firm has a market capitalization of $714.92 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.34 and a beta of 0.21.

UNITIL Corporation (NYSE:UTL) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The utilities provider reported $0.23 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.21 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $80.80 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $78.10 million. UNITIL Corporation had a return on equity of 9.88% and a net margin of 7.52%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.18 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that UNITIL Corporation will post $2.00 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 29th. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 15th will be paid a $0.36 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 11th. This represents a $1.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.84%. UNITIL Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 68.90%.

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A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in UTL. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of UNITIL Corporation by 19.2% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 341,466 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $15,485,000 after buying an additional 54,955 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of UNITIL Corporation by 4.7% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 482,151 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $21,861,000 after buying an additional 21,434 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of UNITIL Corporation by 7.0% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 28,378 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,287,000 after buying an additional 1,858 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position in shares of UNITIL Corporation by 1.9% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 6,770 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $305,000 after buying an additional 124 shares during the period. Finally, James Investment Research Inc. purchased a new position in shares of UNITIL Corporation during the first quarter valued at about $4,598,000. 58.90% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About UNITIL Corporation

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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