Shares of UNITIL Corporation (NYSE:UTL) have received an average broker rating score of 3.00 (Hold) from the one brokers that provide coverage for the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold recommendation.

Brokers have set a twelve-month consensus price target of $52.00 for the company and are forecasting that the company will post $0.76 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given UNITIL an industry rank of 195 out of 265 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on UTL. Zacks Investment Research raised UNITIL from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $47.00 price target on shares of UNITIL in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its position in shares of UNITIL by 293.5% during the 2nd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 2,349 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 1,752 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new position in shares of UNITIL during the 3rd quarter valued at $132,000. Magnetar Financial LLC purchased a new position in shares of UNITIL during the 3rd quarter valued at $204,000. Neuberger Berman Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of UNITIL during the 3rd quarter valued at $204,000. Finally, Thrivent Financial For Lutherans bought a new stake in shares of UNITIL during the 2nd quarter valued at $254,000. 60.66% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

UNITIL (NYSE UTL) opened at $50.18 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.04, a current ratio of 0.56 and a quick ratio of 0.53. UNITIL has a 1 year low of $43.03 and a 1 year high of $52.84. The firm has a market capitalization of $708.58, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.09 and a beta of 0.20.

UNITIL (NYSE:UTL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.16 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.12 by $0.04. UNITIL had a return on equity of 9.39% and a net margin of 7.09%. The firm had revenue of $475.20 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $82.80 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.25 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that UNITIL will post 2.03 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 29th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th were given a dividend of $0.36 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, November 14th. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.87%. UNITIL’s dividend payout ratio is presently 72.00%.

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About UNITIL

Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company. The Company’s principal business is the local distribution of electricity in the southeastern seacoast and state capital regions of New Hampshire and the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts and the local distribution of 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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