Washington Capital Management Inc. Buys New Position in UniFirst Corp (NYSE:UNF)

Washington Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of UniFirst Corp (NYSE:UNF) during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor bought 2,800 shares of the textile maker’s stock, valued at approximately $528,000.

Other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Ellis Investment Partners LLC purchased a new stake in UniFirst during the 1st quarter valued at about $36,000. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. purchased a new stake in UniFirst during the 2nd quarter valued at about $57,000. Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. purchased a new stake in UniFirst during the 2nd quarter valued at about $68,000. Marshall Wace North America L.P. grew its stake in UniFirst by 17.4% during the 1st quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 473 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $73,000 after purchasing an additional 70 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Advisor Group Inc. grew its stake in UniFirst by 61.2% during the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 682 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $128,000 after purchasing an additional 259 shares during the last quarter. 77.23% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Several analysts have weighed in on UNF shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded UniFirst from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $213.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Saturday, June 29th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price target on UniFirst from $155.00 to $183.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 27th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded UniFirst from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 27th.

Shares of UNF traded down $5.08 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $195.11. The company had a trading volume of 118,378 shares, compared to its average volume of 112,178. UniFirst Corp has a 52-week low of $132.38 and a 52-week high of $205.22. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.80 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.19 and a beta of 0.72. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $193.55 and a two-hundred day moving average of $164.95.

UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, June 26th. The textile maker reported $2.46 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.70 by $0.76. UniFirst had a return on equity of 9.67% and a net margin of 9.21%. The firm had revenue of $453.72 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $441.70 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.85 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 6.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that UniFirst Corp will post 7.66 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 27th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 6th will be paid a $0.1125 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 5th. This represents a $0.45 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.23%. UniFirst’s payout ratio is 6.04%.

In other news, major shareholder Cecelia Levenstein sold 8,408 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $201.97, for a total value of $1,698,163.76. Following the sale, the insider now owns 118,558 shares in the company, valued at $23,945,159.26. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP David A. Difillippo sold 883 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $157.85, for a total value of $139,381.55. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 11,162 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,761,921.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 9,375 shares of company stock worth $1,851,027 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

About UniFirst

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for UniFirst (NYSE:UNF)

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