BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of UniFirst Corp (NYSE:UNF) by 0.4% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 2,233,667 shares of the textile maker’s stock after buying an additional 9,151 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. owned 11.72% of UniFirst worth $342,868,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Magnus Financial Group LLC raised its position in shares of UniFirst by 14.6% in the first quarter. Magnus Financial Group LLC now owns 1,716 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $263,000 after buying an additional 219 shares during the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC raised its position in shares of UniFirst by 8.8% in the first quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 33,561 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $5,152,000 after buying an additional 2,701 shares during the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP raised its position in shares of UniFirst by 17.0% in the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 31,435 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $4,825,000 after buying an additional 4,564 shares during the last quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P raised its position in shares of UniFirst by 17.7% in the first quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 44,605 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $6,848,000 after buying an additional 6,700 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of UniFirst by 5.9% in the first quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 3,886 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $597,000 after buying an additional 218 shares during the last quarter. 77.07% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In related news, VP David A. Difillippo sold 840 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $155.68, for a total transaction of $130,771.20. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 6,856 shares in the company, valued at $1,067,342.08. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder The Ronald D. Croatti Trust – 1 sold 5,583 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $154.71, for a total transaction of $863,745.93. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 9,427 shares of company stock valued at $1,467,149. 1.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Separately, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of UniFirst from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 19th.
Shares of NYSE UNF opened at $167.69 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.05 billion, a PE ratio of 22.51 and a beta of 0.63. UniFirst Corp has a 52 week low of $132.38 and a 52 week high of $193.05.
UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, March 27th. The textile maker reported $1.67 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.52 by $0.15. UniFirst had a net margin of 8.73% and a return on equity of 8.89%. The business had revenue of $437.50 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $434.90 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.38 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts anticipate that UniFirst Corp will post 6.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 28th. Investors of record on Friday, June 7th will be given a dividend of $0.1125 per share. This represents a $0.45 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.27%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 6th. UniFirst’s payout ratio is currently 6.04%.
UniFirst Company Profile
UniFirst Corporation provides workplace uniforms and protective work wear clothing in the United States, Europe, and Canada. The company operates through U.S. Rental and Cleaning, Canadian Rental and Cleaning, Manufacturing, Specialty Garments Rental and Cleaning, and First Aid segments. It designs, manufactures, personalizes, rents, cleans, delivers, and sells a range of uniforms and protective clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets, coveralls, lab coats, smocks, and aprons; and specialized protective wear, such as flame resistant and high visibility garments.
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