Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Chesapeake Utilities Corp. (NYSE:CPK) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is a utility company engaged in natural gas distribution and transmission, propane distribution and marketing, advanced information services and other related businesses.Chesapeake’s three natural gas distribution divisions serve residential, commercial and industrial customers in southern Delaware, Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Florida. The Company’s natural gas transmission subsidiary operates an interstate pipeline system that transports gas from various points in Pennsylvania to Delaware and Maryland distribution divisions. “

Several other research firms have also weighed in on CPK. Janney Montgomery Scott raised Chesapeake Utilities Corp. from a neutral rating to a buy rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $59.00 to $71.00 in a research report on Monday, August 8th. Hilliard Lyons upgraded Chesapeake Utilities Corp. from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $72.00 target price for the company in a research note on Friday, June 24th. Finally, BB&T Corp. initiated coverage on Chesapeake Utilities Corp. in a research note on Wednesday, June 22nd. They set a hold rating for the company. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $70.33.

Analyst Recommendations for Chesapeake Utilities Corp. (NYSE:CPK)

Chesapeake Utilities Corp. (NYSE:CPK) remained flat at $61.25 on Thursday. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 10,158 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $61.85 and a 200-day moving average price of $61.98. Chesapeake Utilities Corp. has a 1-year low of $49.50 and a 1-year high of $67.88. The company has a market cap of $938.53 million, a P/E ratio of 22.26 and a beta of 0.24.

Chesapeake Utilities Corp. (NYSE:CPK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.49 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $102.30 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $98.90 million. Chesapeake Utilities Corp. had a return on equity of 12.19% and a net margin of 9.47%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Chesapeake Utilities Corp. will post $2.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 5th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were given a dividend of $0.305 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.22 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.99%. Chesapeake Utilities Corp.’s payout ratio is 44.53%.

In other news, insider John R. Schimkaitis sold 500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.62, for a total transaction of $31,310.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Insiders own 5.36% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Chesapeake Utilities Corp. by 1.5% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 498,901 shares of the company’s stock worth $33,016,000 after buying an additional 7,278 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in Chesapeake Utilities Corp. by 7.6% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 446,259 shares of the company’s stock worth $29,533,000 after buying an additional 31,665 shares during the last quarter. Energy Income Partners LLC increased its stake in Chesapeake Utilities Corp. by 87.4% in the first quarter. Energy Income Partners LLC now owns 431,779 shares of the company’s stock worth $27,189,000 after buying an additional 201,414 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its stake in Chesapeake Utilities Corp. by 1.5% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 262,450 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,526,000 after buying an additional 3,950 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Glenmede Trust Co. NA increased its stake in Chesapeake Utilities Corp. by 12.6% in the second quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 216,638 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,336,000 after buying an additional 24,205 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.29% of the company’s stock.

About Chesapeake Utilities Corp.

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (Chesapeake) is an energy company. The Company, through its operating divisions and subsidiaries, is engaged in regulated and unregulated energy businesses. It provides natural gas distribution and transmission, natural gas supply, gathering and processing, electric distribution and propane distribution service.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:CPK

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