Unitil (NYSE:UTL) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

Unitil (NYSE:UTLGet Rating) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Saturday, Zacks.com reports. The firm presently has a $64.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 13.64% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Unitil Corporation is a registered public utility holding company and the parent company of the Unitil System. “

Several other brokerages also recently issued reports on UTL. Bank of America upgraded shares of Unitil from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their target price for the company from $45.00 to $50.00 in a research note on Thursday, February 3rd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. StockNews.com upgraded shares of Unitil from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, May 23rd.

Unitil stock opened at $56.32 on Friday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $52.36 and a 200-day moving average of $48.64. Unitil has a one year low of $40.53 and a one year high of $58.87. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.07, a current ratio of 1.03 and a quick ratio of 0.97. The company has a market cap of $902.87 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.89, a P/E/G ratio of 3.50 and a beta of 0.49.

Unitil (NYSE:UTLGet Rating) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, May 3rd. The utilities provider reported $1.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.35. Unitil had a net margin of 7.34% and a return on equity of 8.83%. The business had revenue of $192.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $160.00 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.26 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Unitil will post 2.55 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in UTL. Moors & Cabot Inc. bought a new position in shares of Unitil during the third quarter worth approximately $713,000. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. increased its holdings in shares of Unitil by 150.0% during the fourth quarter. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. now owns 250,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $11,498,000 after purchasing an additional 150,000 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Unitil by 5.2% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,771,658 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $127,470,000 after purchasing an additional 137,337 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Unitil by 81.6% during the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 276,831 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $14,118,000 after purchasing an additional 124,369 shares during the period. Finally, Monarch Partners Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Unitil during the 1st quarter worth approximately $4,500,000. 72.66% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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