UniFirst Corp (NYSE:UNF) – Equities research analysts at Northcoast Research upped their FY2018 earnings estimates for UniFirst in a report issued on Thursday. Northcoast Research analyst J. Healy now expects that the textile maker will post earnings per share of $5.36 for the year, up from their previous estimate of $5.19. Northcoast Research currently has a “Neutral” rating on the stock.
A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on UNF. Zacks Investment Research upgraded UniFirst from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $159.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Robert W. Baird increased their price objective on UniFirst from $163.00 to $171.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 19th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. UniFirst presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $180.00.
UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, January 3rd. The textile maker reported $1.60 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.41 by $0.19. UniFirst had a return on equity of 7.72% and a net margin of 4.69%. The firm had revenue of $415.80 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $404.60 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.38 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.7% compared to the same quarter last year.
A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of UNF. Atlantic Trust Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of UniFirst in the third quarter valued at about $3,068,000. GSA Capital Partners LLP acquired a new stake in shares of UniFirst in the third quarter valued at about $334,000. Martin & Co. Inc. TN grew its position in shares of UniFirst by 56.9% in the third quarter. Martin & Co. Inc. TN now owns 14,900 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $2,257,000 after purchasing an additional 5,401 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System grew its position in shares of UniFirst by 10.1% in the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 21,148 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $3,204,000 after purchasing an additional 1,948 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new stake in shares of UniFirst in the third quarter valued at about $362,000. 74.07% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In other news, VP Michael A. Croatti sold 1,216 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $168.99, for a total value of $205,491.84. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 3,375 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $570,341.25. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP David Martin Katz sold 1,060 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $168.15, for a total transaction of $178,239.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 2,667 shares in the company, valued at $448,456.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 2,401 shares of company stock worth $405,193 over the last ninety days. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 30th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 9th will be paid a $0.0375 dividend. This represents a $0.15 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.09%. UniFirst’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 4.01%.
UniFirst Corporation is a provider of workplace uniforms and protective work wear clothing in the United States. The Company designs, manufactures, personalizes, rents, cleans, delivers, and sells a range of uniforms and protective clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets, coveralls, lab coats, smocks, aprons and specialized protective wear, such as flame resistant and high visibility garments.
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