Analysts Anticipate Unitil Co. (NYSE:UTL) to Announce $0.79 Earnings Per Share

Shares of Unitil Co. (NYSE:UTL) have been assigned an average broker rating score of 3.50 (Sell) from the two brokers that provide coverage for the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation and one has issued a hold recommendation on the company.

Analysts have set a 1-year consensus price target of $61.00 for the company and are forecasting that the company will post $0.79 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Unitil an industry rank of 96 out of 255 based on the ratings given to related companies.

Several research firms recently commented on UTL. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Unitil from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, September 6th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Unitil from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. CWM LLC bought a new position in shares of Unitil in the 3rd quarter worth $25,000. Quantamental Technologies LLC lifted its stake in Unitil by 75.0% during the 2nd quarter. Quantamental Technologies LLC now owns 700 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $42,000 after acquiring an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in Unitil during the 2nd quarter valued at $65,000. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new position in Unitil during the 3rd quarter valued at $102,000. Finally, Menta Capital LLC bought a new position in Unitil during the 2nd quarter valued at $201,000. 68.35% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of NYSE:UTL traded up $0.13 on Friday, hitting $62.11. The company had a trading volume of 53,049 shares, compared to its average volume of 48,400. Unitil has a 1-year low of $47.05 and a 1-year high of $64.53. The stock has a market cap of $925.13 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.18, a P/E/G ratio of 6.13 and a beta of 0.03. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $61.19 and a 200 day moving average price of $60.42. The company has a current ratio of 0.74, a quick ratio of 0.68 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.11.

Unitil (NYSE:UTL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 24th. The utilities provider reported $0.15 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.01. Unitil had a net margin of 9.79% and a return on equity of 9.27%. The business had revenue of $85.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $87.00 million. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Unitil will post 2.32 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 27th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 13th were paid a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.38%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, November 12th. Unitil’s dividend payout ratio is currently 66.37%.

Unitil Company Profile

Unitil Corporation, a public utility holding company, engages in the distribution of electricity and natural gas in the United States. It operates through three segments: Utility Gas Operations, Utility Electric Operations, and Non-Regulated. The company distributes electricity in the southeastern seacoast and state capital regions of New Hampshire, and the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts; and distributes 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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