Hancock Whitney Corp cut its holdings in shares of UniFirst Corp (NYSE:UNF) by 10.6% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 3,760 shares of the textile maker’s stock after selling 444 shares during the quarter. Hancock Whitney Corp’s holdings in UniFirst were worth $538,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. State of Alaska Department of Revenue lifted its stake in shares of UniFirst by 1.8% in the 4th quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 5,169 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $739,000 after acquiring an additional 90 shares during the period. Comerica Bank lifted its stake in shares of UniFirst by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 15,185 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $2,059,000 after purchasing an additional 99 shares during the period. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in shares of UniFirst by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 3,668 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $525,000 after purchasing an additional 117 shares during the period. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc acquired a new stake in shares of UniFirst in the fourth quarter valued at about $28,000. Finally, Glenmede Trust Co. NA lifted its stake in shares of UniFirst by 17.7% in the third quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 2,465 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $427,000 after purchasing an additional 370 shares during the period. 77.93% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Several analysts recently commented on the stock. Robert W. Baird reduced their price objective on shares of UniFirst from $170.00 to $152.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, January 4th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of UniFirst from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of UniFirst from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 4th.
UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, March 27th. The textile maker reported $1.67 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.52 by $0.15. UniFirst had a net margin of 8.73% and a return on equity of 8.89%. The business had revenue of $437.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $434.90 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.38 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts expect that UniFirst Corp will post 6.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 28th. Investors of record on Friday, June 7th will be issued a $0.1125 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 6th. This represents a $0.45 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.29%. UniFirst’s payout ratio is 6.04%.
UniFirst declared that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, January 3rd that permits the company to buyback $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the textile maker to repurchase up to 3.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
In other UniFirst news, major shareholder The Ronald D. Croatti Trust – 1 sold 5,583 shares of UniFirst stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $154.71, for a total transaction of $863,745.93. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Michael Iandoli sold 544 shares of UniFirst stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $155.04, for a total transaction of $84,341.76. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,000 shares in the company, valued at $775,200. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 22,036 shares of company stock valued at $3,217,188. 1.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.
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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.
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