Shares of UniFirst Co. (NYSE:UNF – Get Free Report) have been assigned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the four research firms that are covering the company, MarketBeat.com reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating on the company. The average 1 year price target among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $177.00.
A number of equities analysts have commented on UNF shares. StockNews.com started coverage on shares of UniFirst in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. They issued a “hold” rating for the company. Barclays began coverage on shares of UniFirst in a report on Friday, October 6th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $160.00 price objective for the company. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their target price on shares of UniFirst from $150.00 to $160.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 19th.
UniFirst Stock Down 0.0 %
UniFirst (NYSE:UNF – Get Free Report) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The textile maker reported $1.75 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $571.90 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $568.22 million. UniFirst had a net margin of 4.64% and a return on equity of 5.92%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 10.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.79 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that UniFirst will post 7.69 EPS for the current year.
UniFirst Increases Dividend
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 4th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.33 per share. This represents a $1.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.80%. This is a positive change from UniFirst’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.31. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, December 6th. UniFirst’s payout ratio is presently 22.46%.
Institutional Trading of UniFirst
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in UNF. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of UniFirst by 0.3% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,664,757 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $280,062,000 after acquiring an additional 4,941 shares during the last quarter. River Road Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of UniFirst by 11.3% during the 2nd quarter. River Road Asset Management LLC now owns 886,735 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $137,453,000 after buying an additional 90,309 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its position in shares of UniFirst by 1.6% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 628,270 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $97,390,000 after buying an additional 10,143 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its holdings in UniFirst by 0.3% in the 3rd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 558,531 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $93,962,000 after purchasing an additional 1,591 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its holdings in UniFirst by 3.8% in the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 542,113 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $84,033,000 after purchasing an additional 20,093 shares in the last quarter. 76.69% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
UniFirst Corporation provides workplace uniforms and protective work wear clothing in the United States, Europe, and Canada. The company operates through U.S. and Canadian Rental and Cleaning, Manufacturing, Specialty Garments Rental and Cleaning, and First Aid segments. It designs, manufactures, personalizes, rents, cleans, delivers, and sells a range of uniforms and protective clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets, coveralls, lab coats, smocks, and aprons; and specialized protective wear, such as flame resistant and high visibility garments.
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