Brokerages Expect UNITIL Corporation (UTL) to Post $0.76 EPS

UNITIL Corporation (NYSE:UTL) has earned an average broker rating score of 2.00 (Buy) from the two brokers that provide coverage for the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold recommendation and one has assigned a strong buy recommendation to the company. UNITIL’s rating score has improved by 33.3% in the last 90 days as a result of a number of analysts’ upgrades and downgrades.

Brokerages have set a 12-month consensus price target of $47.00 for the company and are predicting that the company will post $0.76 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given UNITIL an industry rank of 215 out of 265 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

UTL has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Janney Montgomery Scott raised UNITIL from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lowered their target price for the stock from $52.00 to $50.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and set a $47.00 target price on shares of UNITIL in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. Bank of America initiated coverage on UNITIL in a research note on Monday, December 18th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $49.00 target price for the company. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised UNITIL from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $58.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of UNITIL by 0.8% in the second quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 29,792 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,439,000 after buying an additional 229 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its stake in shares of UNITIL by 3.0% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 12,163 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $587,000 after buying an additional 349 shares during the period. Horizon Investment Services LLC increased its stake in shares of UNITIL by 3.9% in the second quarter. Horizon Investment Services LLC now owns 18,121 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $875,000 after buying an additional 675 shares during the period. Voya Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of UNITIL by 13.0% in the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 7,698 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $372,000 after buying an additional 887 shares during the period. Finally, Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its stake in shares of UNITIL by 10.6% in the second quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 16,715 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $808,000 after buying an additional 1,600 shares during the period. 58.59% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

UNITIL (NYSE UTL) opened at $43.92 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.04, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a current ratio of 0.56. The company has a market capitalization of $655.25, a PE ratio of 21.96, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 6.72 and a beta of 0.20. UNITIL has a 52 week low of $43.03 and a 52 week high of $52.84.

UNITIL (NYSE:UTL) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.16 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.12 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $475.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $82.80 million. UNITIL had a return on equity of 9.39% and a net margin of 7.09%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.25 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that UNITIL will post 2.04 EPS for the current year.

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About UNITIL

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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