Unitil (NYSE:UTL) Rating Increased to Buy at StockNews.com

Unitil (NYSE:UTLGet Rating) was upgraded by StockNews.com from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Monday.

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Unitil from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $57.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, April 20th. Bank of America raised shares of Unitil from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $45.00 to $50.00 in a research report on Thursday, February 3rd. They noted that the move was a valuation call.

Shares of NYSE:UTL traded up $1.79 on Monday, reaching $56.35. 60,031 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 68,630. The company has a fifty day moving average of $51.76 and a 200-day moving average of $48.32. Unitil has a twelve month low of $40.53 and a twelve month high of $57.99. The company has a market capitalization of $903.35 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.91, a PEG ratio of 3.50 and a beta of 0.49. The company has a current ratio of 1.03, a quick ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.07.

Unitil (NYSE:UTLGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 3rd. The utilities provider reported $1.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $1.35. The business had revenue of $192.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $160.00 million. Unitil had a net margin of 7.34% and a return on equity of 8.83%. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.26 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Unitil will post 2.55 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in UTL. Morgan Stanley grew its stake in Unitil by 296.3% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 72,852 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,859,000 after buying an additional 54,467 shares in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Unitil by 83.4% in the 3rd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 35,075 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,499,000 after purchasing an additional 15,948 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Unitil by 3.3% in the 3rd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 125,957 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $5,388,000 after purchasing an additional 4,009 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Unitil by 2.4% in the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,634,321 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $112,697,000 after purchasing an additional 60,651 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Barclays PLC boosted its stake in shares of Unitil by 43.1% in the 3rd quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 21,837 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $934,000 after purchasing an additional 6,576 shares in the last quarter. 72.66% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Unitil (Get Rating)

Unitil Corporation, a public utility holding company, engages in the distribution of electricity and natural gas. It operates through three segments: Utility Electric Operations, Utility Gas 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 and portions of southern and central Maine, including the city of Portland and the Lewiston-Auburn area, as well as the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts.

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