UNITIL (UTL) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of UNITIL (NYSE:UTL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning.

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

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a hold rating and issued a $47.00 target price on shares of UNITIL in a research note on Tuesday, August 15th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of UNITIL from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, August 10th.

UNITIL (UTL) traded up $0.20 on Wednesday, hitting $50.94. 47,800 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 38,949. The stock has a market capitalization of $719.31, a P/E ratio of 25.37 and a beta of 0.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.04, a current ratio of 0.56 and a quick ratio of 0.53. UNITIL has a 52-week low of $42.99 and a 52-week high of $52.84.

UNITIL (NYSE:UTL) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.16 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.12 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $475.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $82.80 million. UNITIL had a net margin of 7.09% and a return on equity of 9.39%. The company’s revenue was down 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.25 earnings per share. research analysts expect that UNITIL will post 2.03 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 29th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th were paid a $0.36 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, November 14th. This represents a $1.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.83%. UNITIL’s payout ratio is 72.00%.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC grew its stake in UNITIL by 1.8% during the third quarter. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC now owns 951,407 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $47,057,000 after acquiring an additional 16,392 shares in the last quarter. Eagle Boston Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in UNITIL by 6.0% during the second quarter. Eagle Boston Investment Management Inc. now owns 100,178 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,839,000 after acquiring an additional 5,670 shares in the last quarter. Strs Ohio grew its stake in UNITIL by 54.0% during the third quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 9,700 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $479,000 after acquiring an additional 3,400 shares in the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. grew its stake in UNITIL by 47.0% during the second quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 11,344 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $548,000 after acquiring an additional 3,626 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC grew its stake in UNITIL by 4.2% during the first quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 29,563 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,331,000 after acquiring an additional 1,185 shares in the last quarter. 60.66% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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UNITIL Company Profile

Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company. The Company’s principal business is the local distribution of electricity in the southeastern seacoast and state capital regions of New Hampshire and the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts and the local distribution of 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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