Chesapeake Utilities (CPK) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Monday. The firm currently has a $79.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 13.83% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is a utility company engaged in natural gas distribution and transmission, propane distribution and marketing, advanced information services and other related businesses.Chesapeake’s three natural gas distribution divisions serve residential, commercial and industrial customers in southern Delaware, Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Florida. The Company’s natural gas transmission subsidiary operates an interstate pipeline system that transports gas from various points in Pennsylvania to Delaware and Maryland distribution divisions. “

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Several other brokerages have also issued reports on CPK. Seaport Global Securities reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Chesapeake Utilities in a research report on Monday, March 5th. Sidoti upgraded shares of Chesapeake Utilities from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, March 19th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $79.67.

Chesapeake Utilities stock traded down $0.95 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $69.40. 71,712 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 83,718. Chesapeake Utilities has a one year low of $66.35 and a one year high of $86.35. The firm has a market cap of $1,149.83, a PE ratio of 24.01, a PEG ratio of 3.41 and a beta of 0.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a current ratio of 0.43 and a quick ratio of 0.38.

Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, February 28th. The utilities provider reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.89 by $0.04. Chesapeake Utilities had a net margin of 9.41% and a return on equity of 10.10%. The business had revenue of $180.40 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $147.85 million. research analysts anticipate that Chesapeake Utilities will post 3.44 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Chesapeake Utilities news, insider John R. Schimkaitis sold 2,500 shares of Chesapeake Utilities stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.65, for a total transaction of $191,625.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Stephen C. Thompson sold 2,263 shares of Chesapeake Utilities stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.17, for a total transaction of $163,320.71. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 73,605 shares in the company, valued at $5,312,072.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 4.16% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of CPK. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Chesapeake Utilities during the third quarter worth approximately $207,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. purchased a new position in shares of Chesapeake Utilities during the third quarter worth approximately $229,000. Telemus Capital LLC purchased a new position in shares of Chesapeake Utilities during the fourth quarter worth approximately $237,000. Northeast Financial Consultants Inc purchased a new position in shares of Chesapeake Utilities in the fourth quarter worth $282,000. Finally, Sei Investments Co. increased its stake in shares of Chesapeake Utilities by 24.7% in the third quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 4,420 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $345,000 after buying an additional 875 shares during the period. 62.25% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Chesapeake Utilities Company Profile

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, a diversified energy company, engages in regulated and unregulated energy businesses. The company operates in two segments, Regulated Energy and Unregulated Energy. The Regulated Energy segment engages in the distribution of natural gas in Delaware, Maryland, and Florida; distribution of electricity in Florida; and transmission of natural gas on the Delmarva Peninsula and in Florida.

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