Unitil (NYSE:UTL) Sets New 52-Week High at $59.90

Unitil Co. (NYSE:UTL) shares reached a new 52-week high on Friday . The stock traded as high as $59.90 and last traded at $59.52, with a volume of 24677 shares. The stock had previously closed at $58.92.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Unitil from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 4th.

The company has a current ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.76 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00. The company has a market capitalization of $875.44 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.69, a P/E/G ratio of 6.43 and a beta of 0.10.

Unitil (NYSE:UTL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The utilities provider reported $1.12 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.35 by ($0.23). The company had revenue of $152.10 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $147.60 million. Unitil had a return on equity of 9.63% and a net margin of 9.75%. Equities analysts anticipate that Unitil Co. will post 2.3 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 29th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 15th were issued a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, May 14th. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.49%. Unitil’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 66.37%.

In other Unitil news, VP Todd R. Black sold 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.05, for a total transaction of $28,525.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 26,440 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,508,402. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 2.39% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in UTL. Monarch Partners Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in Unitil by 89.4% during the 4th quarter. Monarch Partners Asset Management LLC now owns 276,496 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $14,002,000 after buying an additional 130,500 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp raised its holdings in Unitil by 48.8% during the 4th quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 288,072 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $14,589,000 after buying an additional 94,481 shares during the period. Advisor Group Inc. raised its holdings in Unitil by 2,830.1% during the 1st quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 59,832 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,243,000 after buying an additional 57,790 shares during the period. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in Unitil by 98.4% during the 1st quarter. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC now owns 82,878 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,490,000 after buying an additional 41,100 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Unitil by 2.9% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,185,829 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $60,050,000 after buying an additional 33,372 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 67.11% of the company’s stock.

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About Unitil (NYSE:UTL)

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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