Unifirst (UNF) Upgraded to Hold by Zacks Investment Research

Unifirst (NYSE:UNF) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “UniFirst Corporation has become an industry leader and remains one of the fastest growing companies in the Uniform and Textile Services business. Its business is the rental Lease and Sale of work clothing, uniforms, protective apparel, careerwear, and facility service products to businesses in virtually all industrial categories. The major portion of the Company’s business is Uniform Rental Service Programs, wherein it provides customers with all necessary products plus weekly cleaning, maintenance, and any needed replacements of work clothing. The Company became the first private industrial launderer to be granted a government license to process nuclear-contaminated garments. The Company has developed a separate division, UniTech Services Group, which now includes specialized plants throughout the United States and in Europe. UniFirst is a national leader in cleaning and decontaminating the garments worn by workers who maintain and refuel nuclear power and nuclear processing equipment. “

Several other research firms have also commented on UNF. Northcoast Research restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Unifirst in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. Robert W. Baird upped their price objective on Unifirst from $163.00 to $171.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Unifirst presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $165.00.

Unifirst (NYSE UNF) traded down $1.60 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $168.85. The stock had a trading volume of 64,700 shares, compared to its average volume of 57,192. The stock has a market cap of $3,455.87, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.28, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.24 and a beta of 0.74. Unifirst has a 52-week low of $124.85 and a 52-week high of $171.80.

Unifirst (NYSE:UNF) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 18th. The textile maker reported $1.44 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.20. The firm had revenue of $403.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $392.15 million. Unifirst had a return on equity of 7.53% and a net margin of 4.40%. Unifirst’s revenue was up 10.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.27 EPS. equities research analysts expect that Unifirst will post 5.26 EPS for the current year.

In other Unifirst news, VP David Martin Katz sold 1,060 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, December 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $168.15, for a total value of $178,239.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 2,667 shares in the company, valued at approximately $448,456.05. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, VP Michael A. Croatti sold 1,216 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, December 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $168.99, for a total value of $205,491.84. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 3,375 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $570,341.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. GSA Capital Partners LLP purchased a new stake in Unifirst in the 3rd quarter worth $334,000. Martin & Co. Inc. TN increased its stake in Unifirst by 56.9% in the 3rd quarter. Martin & Co. Inc. TN now owns 14,900 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $2,257,000 after buying an additional 5,401 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its stake in Unifirst by 10.1% in the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 21,148 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $3,204,000 after buying an additional 1,948 shares in the last quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new stake in Unifirst in the 3rd quarter worth $362,000. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in Unifirst by 5.6% in the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 909,126 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $137,733,000 after buying an additional 48,162 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.07% of the company’s stock.

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Unifirst Company Profile

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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