Unifirst Corporation (NYSE:UNF) has earned a consensus broker rating score of 2.67 (Hold) from the six brokers that cover the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company.

Brokerages have set a 1-year consensus target price of $158.00 for the company and are anticipating that the company will post $1.41 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Unifirst Corporation an industry rank of 219 out of 265 based on the ratings given to related companies.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Unifirst Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $162.00 target price for the company in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. Northcoast Research reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Unifirst Corporation in a report on Thursday, October 19th. BidaskClub cut Unifirst Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Finally, Robert W. Baird upped their price target on Unifirst Corporation from $163.00 to $171.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, October 19th.

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A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Unifirst Corporation by 52,993.4% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,852,961 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $262,102,000 after buying an additional 1,849,471 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Unifirst Corporation by 1.1% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,404,198 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $197,571,000 after buying an additional 15,155 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in shares of Unifirst Corporation by 1.3% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 873,793 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $122,943,000 after buying an additional 11,559 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC acquired a new stake in shares of Unifirst Corporation during the second quarter worth approximately $121,138,000. Finally, Royce & Associates LP increased its holdings in shares of Unifirst Corporation by 3.8% during the second quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 813,720 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $114,490,000 after buying an additional 29,500 shares in the last quarter. 73.46% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Unifirst Corporation (NYSE:UNF) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 18th. The textile maker reported $1.44 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.20. The business had revenue of $403.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $392.15 million. Unifirst Corporation had a return on equity of 7.53% and a net margin of 4.40%. The business’s revenue was up 10.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.27 earnings per share.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 8th will be given a dividend of $0.0375 per share. This represents a $0.15 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.10%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 7th. Unifirst Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is currently 4.37%.

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.

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