UNITIL Corporation (NYSE:UTL) has received a consensus broker rating score of 2.00 (Buy) from the two brokers that cover the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. UNITIL’s rating score has improved by 33.3% in the last three months as a result of various analysts’ ratings changes.
Analysts have set a one year consensus price objective of $47.00 for the company and are anticipating that the company will post $0.88 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given UNITIL an industry rank of 221 out of 265 based on the ratings given to related companies.
UTL has been the topic of a number of research reports. Janney Montgomery Scott raised shares of UNITIL from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and dropped their price target 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 report on Wednesday, October 18th. Bank of America began coverage on shares of UNITIL in a research report on Monday, December 18th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $49.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of UNITIL from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $58.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st.
UNITIL (NYSE:UTL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.79 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.02. UNITIL had a net margin of 7.14% and a return on equity of 9.67%. The business had revenue of $115.40 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $107.40 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.73 earnings per share. research analysts predict that UNITIL will post 2.08 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 28th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, February 14th will be given a dividend of $0.365 per share. This represents a $1.46 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.36%. This is an increase from UNITIL’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 13th. UNITIL’s dividend payout ratio is presently 69.90%.
Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC increased its position in UNITIL by 1.8% during the third quarter. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC now owns 951,407 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $47,057,000 after buying an additional 16,392 shares during the last quarter. Strs Ohio increased its position in UNITIL by 54.0% during the third quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 9,700 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $479,000 after buying an additional 3,400 shares during the last quarter. Sei Investments Co. increased its position in UNITIL by 11.2% during the third quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 28,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,400,000 after buying an additional 2,849 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its position in UNITIL by 15.6% during the third quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 79,630 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,939,000 after buying an additional 10,718 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in UNITIL by 0.9% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 784,082 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $37,880,000 after buying an additional 7,281 shares during the last quarter. 57.49% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
UNITIL Company Profile
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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