Unifirst Corporation (NYSE: UNF) is one of 98 public companies in the “Business Support Services” industry, but how does it compare to its peers? We will compare Unifirst Corporation to related companies based on the strength of its profitability, dividends, institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations, risk and valuation.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

73.5% of Unifirst Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 63.0% of shares of all “Business Support Services” companies are owned by institutional investors. 6.7% of Unifirst Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 11.9% of shares of all “Business Support Services” companies are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Unifirst Corporation and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Unifirst Corporation 7.12% 7.41% 5.96%
Unifirst Corporation Competitors -129.10% -181.16% -5.94%

Dividends

Unifirst Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.15 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.1%. Unifirst Corporation pays out 2.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Business Support Services” companies pay a dividend yield of 1.1% and pay out 27.3% of their earnings in the form of a dividend.

Risk and Volatility

Unifirst Corporation has a beta of 0.7, meaning that its share price is 30% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Unifirst Corporation’s peers have a beta of 1.12, meaning that their average share price is 12% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Unifirst Corporation and its peers top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Unifirst Corporation $1.55 billion $249.49 million 26.86
Unifirst Corporation Competitors $1.11 billion $178.14 million 21.28

Unifirst Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than its peers. Unifirst Corporation is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Unifirst Corporation and its peers, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Unifirst Corporation 0 1 1 0 2.50
Unifirst Corporation Competitors 735 2086 2674 84 2.38

Unifirst Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $163.00, suggesting a potential upside of 12.18%. As a group, “Business Support Services” companies have a potential downside of 2.02%. Given Unifirst Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe Unifirst Corporation is more favorable than its peers.

Summary

Unifirst Corporation beats its peers on 11 of the 15 factors compared.

About Unifirst Corporation

UniFirst Corporation is a provider of workplace uniforms and protective work wear clothing in the United States. The Company designs, manufactures, personalizes, rents, cleans, delivers, and sells a range of uniforms and protective clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets, coveralls, lab coats, smocks, aprons and specialized protective wear, such as flame resistant and high visibility garments. It operates in six segments: the US Rental and Cleaning, Canadian Rental and Cleaning, Manufacturing (MFG), Specialty Garments Rental and Cleaning (Specialty Garments), First Aid and Corporate. The Company also rents and sells industrial wiping products, floor mats, facility service products and other non-garment items, and provides restroom and cleaning supplies and first aid cabinet services, and other safety supplies. It also decontaminates and cleans work clothes, which has been exposed to radioactive materials and service special cleanroom protective wear and facilities.

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