UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) Lifted to “Buy” at StockNews.com

StockNews.com upgraded shares of UniFirst (NYSE:UNFFree Report) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning.

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. UBS Group lifted their price target on shares of UniFirst from $184.00 to $186.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research note on Thursday, March 28th. Robert W. Baird restated a neutral rating and issued a $185.00 price target on shares of UniFirst in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Barclays lifted their price target on shares of UniFirst from $160.00 to $180.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Thursday, February 29th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat, the stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $177.75.

Read Our Latest Stock Report on UniFirst

UniFirst Trading Up 1.7 %

NYSE UNF opened at $158.51 on Friday. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $167.70 and its 200-day simple moving average is $169.71. UniFirst has a 52 week low of $150.50 and a 52 week high of $187.22. The stock has a market cap of $2.96 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.94 and a beta of 0.82.

UniFirst (NYSE:UNFGet Free Report) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, March 27th. The textile maker reported $1.22 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.41 by ($0.19). UniFirst had a return on equity of 6.19% and a net margin of 4.92%. The firm had revenue of $590.71 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $587.56 million. On average, research analysts expect that UniFirst will post 7.48 EPS for the current fiscal year.

UniFirst Dividend Announcement

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 28th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.33 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 7th. This represents a $1.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.83%. UniFirst’s payout ratio is 21.60%.

Insider Buying and Selling at UniFirst

In related news, EVP William Masters Ross sold 2,282 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $175.27, for a total value of $399,966.14. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 4,034 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $707,039.18. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.74% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On UniFirst

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Oliver Luxxe Assets LLC bought a new position in UniFirst in the 1st quarter valued at about $513,000. Quadrature Capital Ltd bought a new position in UniFirst in the 4th quarter valued at about $288,000. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in UniFirst by 0.7% in the 4th quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,690,940 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $309,290,000 after buying an additional 12,138 shares in the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. grew its position in UniFirst by 44.3% in the 4th quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 41,769 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $7,640,000 after buying an additional 12,829 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD grew its position in UniFirst by 9.1% in the 4th quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 11,719 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $2,144,000 after buying an additional 978 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 78.17% of the company’s stock.

UniFirst Company Profile

(Get Free Report)

UniFirst Corporation provides workplace uniforms and protective work wear clothing in the United States, Europe, and Canada. The company operates through U.S. and 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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