Analysts Set Expectations for UniFirst Corp’s FY2019 Earnings (UNF)

UniFirst Corp (NYSE:UNF) – Research analysts at William Blair boosted their FY2019 earnings estimates for shares of UniFirst in a research report issued on Wednesday, March 27th, Zacks Investment Research reports. William Blair analyst T. Mulrooney now anticipates that the textile maker will earn $7.00 per share for the year, up from their previous forecast of $6.86. William Blair also issued estimates for UniFirst’s Q4 2019 earnings at $1.79 EPS.

UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, March 27th. The textile maker reported $1.67 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.52 by $0.15. UniFirst had a return on equity of 8.89% and a net margin of 8.73%. The company had revenue of $437.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $434.90 million. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.38 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis.

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on UNF. Zacks Investment Research raised UniFirst from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $173.00 price target for the company in a research report on Saturday, March 30th. Robert W. Baird reduced their price target on UniFirst from $170.00 to $152.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, January 4th. Finally, ValuEngine cut UniFirst from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, January 4th.

Shares of UNF traded down $0.40 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $154.41. 79,752 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 127,395. UniFirst has a 12-month low of $132.38 and a 12-month high of $193.05. The company has a market capitalization of $2.96 billion, a PE ratio of 20.73 and a beta of 0.68.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in UNF. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its holdings in UniFirst by 3.5% during the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 106,124 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $18,428,000 after acquiring an additional 3,578 shares in the last quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC bought a new position in UniFirst during the 3rd quarter worth about $291,000. Prudential Financial Inc. grew its holdings in UniFirst by 41.2% during the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 58,789 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $10,209,000 after acquiring an additional 17,163 shares in the last quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS grew its holdings in UniFirst by 12.9% during the 3rd quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 3,683 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $640,000 after acquiring an additional 421 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in UniFirst by 3.3% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 194,475 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $33,771,000 after acquiring an additional 6,167 shares in the last quarter. 77.89% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

In other UniFirst news, major shareholder The Ronald D. Croatti Trust – 1 sold 5,584 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $141.19, for a total value of $788,404.96. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, VP Cynthia Croatti sold 1,625 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $137.50, for a total value of $223,437.50. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 6,883 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $946,412.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 18,078 shares of company stock valued at $2,576,880 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

UniFirst declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, January 3rd that allows the company to buyback $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the textile maker to repurchase up to 3.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 28th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 7th will be given a $0.1125 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 6th. This represents a $0.45 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.29%. UniFirst’s dividend payout ratio is currently 6.04%.

UniFirst Company Profile

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

Read More: Why do commodities matter?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on UniFirst (UNF)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Receive News & Ratings for UniFirst Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for UniFirst and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.