Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

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. “

Separately, Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Chesapeake Utilities in a research note on Friday, August 7th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. Chesapeake Utilities has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $98.57.

Shares of NYSE CPK traded up $0.45 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $76.78. The stock had a trading volume of 63,071 shares, compared to its average volume of 69,198. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $82.95 and a 200-day moving average of $85.91. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a quick ratio of 0.21 and a current ratio of 0.23. The company has a market capitalization of $1.27 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.59 and a beta of 0.21. Chesapeake Utilities has a 12-month low of $69.47 and a 12-month high of $101.29.

Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 5th. The utilities provider reported $0.64 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.10. The firm had revenue of $97.05 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $139.00 million. Chesapeake Utilities had a net margin of 14.35% and a return on equity of 10.96%. As a group, analysts forecast that Chesapeake Utilities will post 4.08 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider John R. Schimkaitis sold 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.00, for a total value of $227,500.00. Company insiders own 3.14% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Private Advisor Group LLC bought a new stake in Chesapeake Utilities during the 2nd quarter valued at about $26,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. bought a new stake in Chesapeake Utilities during the 2nd quarter valued at about $55,000. Tradewinds Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Chesapeake Utilities by 55.6% during the 1st quarter. Tradewinds Capital Management LLC now owns 700 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $60,000 after buying an additional 250 shares in the last quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors purchased a new position in Chesapeake Utilities during the 2nd quarter valued at about $64,000. Finally, Paradigm Asset Management Co. LLC purchased a new position in Chesapeake Utilities during the 2nd quarter valued at about $84,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.39% of the company’s stock.

About Chesapeake Utilities

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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