UniFirst Corp (NYSE:UNF) Sees Large Decline in Short Interest

UniFirst Corp (NYSE:UNF) was the recipient of a significant decline in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 203,500 shares, a decline of 9.8% from the June 30th total of 225,600 shares. Currently, 1.4% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 117,900 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.7 days.

UNF stock traded down $1.66 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $198.05. 2,848 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 121,045. The company has a market capitalization of $3.73 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.61 and a beta of 0.72. The stock’s fifty day moving average price is $190.59. UniFirst has a 1 year low of $132.38 and a 1 year high of $201.86.

UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, June 26th. The textile maker reported $2.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.70 by $0.76. The company had revenue of $453.72 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $441.70 million. UniFirst had a net margin of 9.21% and a return on equity of 9.67%. UniFirst’s revenue was up 6.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.85 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that UniFirst will post 7.66 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 27th. Investors of record on Friday, September 6th will be issued a dividend of $0.1125 per share. This represents a $0.45 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.23%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 5th. UniFirst’s payout ratio is 6.04%.

UNF has been the topic of several research reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price objective on shares of UniFirst from $155.00 to $183.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, June 27th. ValuEngine raised shares of UniFirst from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, June 27th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of UniFirst from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $213.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Saturday, June 29th.

In other news, VP David A. Difillippo sold 883 shares of UniFirst stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $157.85, for a total transaction of $139,381.55. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 11,162 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,761,921.70. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc purchased a new position in UniFirst in the second quarter worth $38,000. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in UniFirst in the second quarter worth $39,000. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. purchased a new position in UniFirst in the second quarter worth $57,000. Cutler Group LP purchased a new position in UniFirst in the second quarter worth $56,000. Finally, Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. purchased a new position in UniFirst in the second quarter worth $68,000. 77.95% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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