UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) Receives Hold Rating from Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research reissued their hold rating on shares of UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) in a report issued on Saturday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “UniFirst Corporation has become an industry leader and remains one of the fastest growing companies in the Uniform and Textile Services business. Its business is the rental Lease and Sale of work clothing, uniforms, protective apparel, careerwear, and facility service products to businesses in virtually all industrial categories. The major portion of the Company’s business is Uniform Rental Service Programs, wherein it provides customers with all necessary products plus weekly cleaning, maintenance, and any needed replacements of work clothing. The Company became the first private industrial launderer to be granted a government license to process nuclear-contaminated garments. The Company has developed a separate division, UniTech Services Group, which now includes specialized plants throughout the United States and in Europe. UniFirst is a national leader in cleaning and decontaminating the garments worn by workers who maintain and refuel nuclear power and nuclear processing equipment. “

Separately, ValuEngine cut shares of UniFirst from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 11th.

UNF traded up $1.03 during trading on Friday, hitting $204.81. 70,028 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 94,299. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.04 and a beta of 0.73. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $194.49 and a 200 day moving average of $180.67. UniFirst has a 12-month low of $132.38 and a 12-month high of $208.48.

UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 23rd. The textile maker reported $2.40 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.96 by $0.44. UniFirst had a net margin of 9.49% and a return on equity of 9.67%. The business had revenue of $479.62 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $471.41 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $2.06 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts expect that UniFirst will post 8.02 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, major shareholder Cecelia Levenstein sold 9,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $196.67, for a total value of $1,868,365.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 100,650 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $19,794,835.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 29,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,846,211. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Man Group plc lifted its position in UniFirst by 245.6% during the 2nd quarter. Man Group plc now owns 197,060 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $37,160,000 after acquiring an additional 140,034 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. lifted its position in UniFirst by 390.8% during the 2nd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 133,218 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $25,121,000 after acquiring an additional 106,075 shares during the period. Dalton Greiner Hartman Maher & Co. lifted its position in UniFirst by 1,305.1% during the 2nd quarter. Dalton Greiner Hartman Maher & Co. now owns 105,386 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $19,873,000 after acquiring an additional 97,886 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in UniFirst during the 2nd quarter valued at about $17,171,000. Finally, Bessemer Group Inc. increased its stake in UniFirst by 321.0% during the 2nd quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 98,104 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $18,499,000 after purchasing an additional 74,804 shares in the last quarter. 77.46% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other 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.

Recommended Story: Average Daily Trade Volume – What It Means In Stock Trading

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on UniFirst (UNF)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Receive News & Ratings for UniFirst Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for UniFirst and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.