Unitil Co. (UTL) Receives Average Recommendation of “Hold” from Analysts

Shares of Unitil Co. (NYSE:UTL) have received an average broker rating score of 2.50 (Hold) from the two brokers that cover the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company.

Brokers have set a 1 year consensus price objective of $55.00 for the company and are expecting that the company will post $1.26 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Unitil an industry rank of 91 out of 255 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on UTL. Bank of America restated an “underperform” rating and set a $51.00 target price (up previously from $48.00) on shares of Unitil in a research report on Friday, February 1st. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Unitil from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 4th.

Shares of UTL opened at $54.71 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.75, a current ratio of 0.79 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.11. The stock has a market cap of $809.27 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.53, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 5.12 and a beta of 0.08. Unitil has a 12-month low of $44.86 and a 12-month high of $55.75.

Unitil (NYSE:UTL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.70 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $125.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $120.10 million. Unitil had a net margin of 7.43% and a return on equity of 9.49%. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Unitil will post 2.31 earnings per share for the current year.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Legal & General Group Plc raised its position in shares of Unitil by 9.9% in the fourth quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 2,596 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $132,000 after buying an additional 234 shares during the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Unitil by 33.8% in the fourth quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,270 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $65,000 after buying an additional 321 shares during the last quarter. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC raised its position in shares of Unitil by 7.1% in the fourth quarter. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC now owns 5,678 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $318,000 after buying an additional 378 shares during the last quarter. Quantamental Technologies LLC acquired a new position in shares of Unitil in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Finally, Martingale Asset Management L P raised its position in shares of Unitil by 0.8% in the third quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 72,608 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,696,000 after buying an additional 600 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 65.00% of the company’s stock.

About Unitil

Unitil Corporation, a public utility holding company, engages in the distribution of electricity and natural gas in the United States. It operates through three segments: Utility Gas Operations, Utility Electric Operations, and Non-Regulated. The company distributes electricity in the southeastern seacoast and state capital regions of New Hampshire, and the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts; and distributes 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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