Unitil (NYSE:UTL) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Unitil (NYSE:UTL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report released on Saturday, Zacks.com reports. The firm presently has a $69.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 16.42% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Unitil Corporation is a registered public utility holding company and the parent company of the Unitil System. “

Separately, Janney Montgomery Scott lowered shares of Unitil from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $59.79 price target on the stock. in a research report on Friday, June 28th.

Unitil stock opened at $59.27 on Friday. Unitil has a 1-year low of $46.21 and a 1-year high of $61.85. The company has a market capitalization of $884.07 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.58, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 6.49 and a beta of 0.13. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $59.39. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00, a current ratio of 0.81 and a quick ratio of 0.76.

Unitil (NYSE:UTL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 25th. The utilities provider reported $1.12 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.35 by ($0.23). Unitil had a net margin of 9.75% and a return on equity of 9.63%. The business had revenue of $152.10 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $147.60 million. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Unitil will post 2.31 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, VP Todd R. Black sold 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.05, for a total transaction of $28,525.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 26,440 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,508,402. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 2.39% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Bessemer Group Inc. increased its position in Unitil by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 49,440 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,961,000 after purchasing an additional 1,100 shares during the period. New York State Teachers Retirement System purchased a new position in Unitil during the 2nd quarter valued at $78,000. Tributary Capital Management LLC increased its position in Unitil by 12.4% during the 2nd quarter. Tributary Capital Management LLC now owns 222,136 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $13,304,000 after purchasing an additional 24,446 shares during the period. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC increased its position in Unitil by 146.0% during the 2nd quarter. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC now owns 13,535 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $811,000 after purchasing an additional 8,032 shares during the period. Finally, First National Bank of Omaha increased its position in Unitil by 12.8% during the 2nd quarter. First National Bank of Omaha now owns 13,527 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $810,000 after purchasing an additional 1,535 shares during the period. 66.99% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Unitil

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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