Northcoast Research Analysts Decrease Earnings Estimates for UniFirst Corp (NYSE:UNF)

UniFirst Corp (NYSE:UNF) – Investment analysts at Northcoast Research lowered their Q3 2019 earnings per share estimates for UniFirst in a note issued to investors on Thursday, March 28th, according to Zacks Investment Research. Northcoast Research analyst J. Healy now anticipates that the textile maker will post earnings per share of $1.65 for the quarter, down from their prior forecast of $1.68. Northcoast Research also issued estimates for UniFirst’s Q4 2019 earnings at $1.74 EPS and FY2020 earnings at $7.50 EPS.

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the company. ValuEngine lowered UniFirst from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, January 4th. Robert W. Baird dropped their target price on UniFirst from $170.00 to $152.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, January 4th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised UniFirst from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, January 19th.

Shares of NYSE UNF traded up $1.18 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $156.96. 58,645 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 124,202. The firm has a market cap of $2.97 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.07 and a beta of 0.68. UniFirst has a twelve month low of $132.38 and a twelve month high of $193.05.

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

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. State of Alaska Department of Revenue increased its position in shares of UniFirst by 1.8% during the 4th quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 5,169 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $739,000 after purchasing an additional 90 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank boosted its stake in shares of UniFirst by 0.7% during the 4th quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 15,185 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $2,059,000 after acquiring an additional 99 shares during the period. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of UniFirst by 3.3% during the 4th quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 3,668 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $525,000 after acquiring an additional 117 shares during the period. Amalgamated Bank boosted its stake in shares of UniFirst by 6.3% during the 4th quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 2,198 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $314,000 after acquiring an additional 130 shares during the period. Finally, NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc bought a new position in shares of UniFirst during the 4th quarter worth approximately $28,000. 77.93% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other UniFirst news, major shareholder The Ronald D. Croatti Trust – 1 sold 5,583 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $154.71, for a total transaction of $863,745.93. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Michael A. Croatti sold 323 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $135.10, for a total value of $43,637.30. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 5,650 shares in the company, valued at approximately $763,315. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 22,036 shares of company stock worth $3,217,188. 1.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.

UniFirst declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Thursday, January 3rd that allows the company to buyback $100.00 million in 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 often a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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

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