Chesapeake Utilities Corp. (NYSE:CPK) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Monday.

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. “

Separately, Janney Montgomery Scott raised Chesapeake Utilities Corp. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $59.00 to $71.00 in a research note on Monday, August 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $70.33.

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

Shares of Chesapeake Utilities Corp. (NYSE:CPK) opened at 67.30 on Monday. Chesapeake Utilities Corp. has a 12-month low of $51.44 and a 12-month high of $68.00. The company has a market capitalization of $1.10 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.91 and a beta of 0.19. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $62.60 and a 200 day moving average price of $62.46.

Chesapeake Utilities Corp. (NYSE:CPK) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 3rd. The company reported $0.29 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.11. Chesapeake Utilities Corp. had a net margin of 8.98% and a return on equity of 11.34%. The firm earned $108.35 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $100.70 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.33 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 17.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Chesapeake Utilities Corp. will post $2.87 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 5th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 15th will be paid a $0.305 dividend. This represents a $1.22 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.81%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, December 13th. Chesapeake Utilities Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 45.19%.

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In other Chesapeake Utilities Corp. news, insider John R. Schimkaitis sold 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.62, for a total value of $31,310.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 5.36% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of CPK. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Chesapeake Utilities Corp. by 17.5% in the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,697 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 253 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new stake in shares of Chesapeake Utilities Corp. during the third quarter worth about $114,000. Archford Capital Strategies LLC increased its stake in shares of Chesapeake Utilities Corp. by 1,480.0% in the second quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC now owns 1,975 shares of the company’s stock worth $131,000 after buying an additional 1,850 shares during the period. Teacher Retirement System of Texas increased its stake in shares of Chesapeake Utilities Corp. by 14.0% in the second quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 2,140 shares of the company’s stock worth $142,000 after buying an additional 263 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can bought a new stake in shares of Chesapeake Utilities Corp. during the second quarter worth about $144,000. 57.15% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Chesapeake Utilities Corp. Company Profile

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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