Analysts Anticipate Unitil Co. (UTL) to Post $1.35 Earnings Per Share

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

Analysts have set a one year consensus target price of $54.50 for the company and are forecasting that the company will post $1.35 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Unitil an industry rank of 89 out of 255 based on the ratings given to related companies.

UTL has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research cut Unitil from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, January 19th. Bank of America reiterated an “underperform” rating and set a $51.00 price target (up previously from $48.00) on shares of Unitil in a report on Friday, February 1st.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of UTL. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its holdings in shares of Unitil by 6.9% during the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 111,536 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $5,677,000 after acquiring an additional 7,239 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Unitil by 2.3% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 163,810 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $8,338,000 after acquiring an additional 3,652 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Unitil by 1.7% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,152,457 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $58,660,000 after acquiring an additional 18,939 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its holdings in shares of Unitil by 0.7% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 571,595 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $29,094,000 after acquiring an additional 3,886 shares during the period. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Unitil during the third quarter worth approximately $1,146,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 65.04% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:UTL traded up $0.23 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $53.75. The company had a trading volume of 31,617 shares, compared to its average volume of 34,641. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.11, a quick ratio of 0.75 and a current ratio of 0.79. The company has a market cap of $801.52 million, a P/E ratio of 24.10, a P/E/G ratio of 5.15 and a beta of 0.08. Unitil has a 1-year low of $45.43 and a 1-year high of $55.75.

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

Unitil Company Profile

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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