Chesapeake Utilities Co. (NYSE:CPK) Raises Dividend to $0.54 Per Share

Chesapeake Utilities Co. (NYSE:CPKGet Rating) announced a quarterly dividend on Friday, May 6th, Wall Street Journal reports. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 15th will be paid a dividend of 0.535 per share by the utilities provider on Tuesday, July 5th. This represents a $2.14 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.68%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, June 14th. This is a boost from Chesapeake Utilities’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48.

Chesapeake Utilities has increased its dividend by an average of 9.4% annually over the last three years and has increased its dividend every year for the last 19 years. Chesapeake Utilities has a dividend payout ratio of 34.5% indicating that its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Equities analysts expect Chesapeake Utilities to earn $5.46 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $1.92 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 35.2%.

Shares of CPK stock opened at $127.56 on Friday. Chesapeake Utilities has a one year low of $113.49 and a one year high of $146.30. The company’s 50-day moving average is $135.11 and its 200 day moving average is $134.45. The company has a market capitalization of $2.26 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.30 and a beta of 0.57. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74, a quick ratio of 0.40 and a current ratio of 0.55.

Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPKGet Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 3rd. The utilities provider reported $2.08 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.06 by $0.02. Chesapeake Utilities had a net margin of 14.28% and a return on equity of 11.19%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.96 EPS. As a group, research analysts predict that Chesapeake Utilities will post 4.99 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada raised their price target on shares of Chesapeake Utilities from $124.00 to $126.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 2nd. Wells Fargo & Company raised their price target on shares of Chesapeake Utilities from $120.00 to $128.00 in a report on Thursday. Finally, StockNews.com assumed coverage on shares of Chesapeake Utilities in a report on Thursday, March 31st. They set a “hold” rating on the stock. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $140.80.

In other news, insider John R. Schimkaitis sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $139.02, for a total value of $347,550.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 2.58% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its stake in shares of Chesapeake Utilities by 3.7% in the 4th quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 43,028 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $6,274,000 after purchasing an additional 1,530 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. lifted its stake in shares of Chesapeake Utilities by 0.3% in the 4th quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 40,804 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $5,950,000 after purchasing an additional 137 shares during the period. California State Teachers Retirement System lifted its stake in shares of Chesapeake Utilities by 2.4% in the 4th quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 24,229 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,533,000 after purchasing an additional 561 shares during the period. Stifel Financial Corp raised its stake in Chesapeake Utilities by 42.3% during the 4th quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 12,722 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,855,000 after acquiring an additional 3,782 shares during the period. Finally, Sei Investments Co. raised its stake in Chesapeake Utilities by 9.7% during the 4th quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 6,293 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $896,000 after acquiring an additional 555 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.21% of the company’s stock.

About Chesapeake Utilities (Get Rating)

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation operates as an energy delivery company. The company operates through two segments, Regulated Energy and Unregulated Energy. The Regulated Energy segment engages in the natural gas distribution operations in central and southern Delaware, Maryland's eastern shore, and Florida; regulated natural gas transmission in the Delmarva Peninsula and Florida; and regulated electric distribution in northeast and northwest Florida.

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Dividend History for Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK)

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