Unitil Co. (NYSE:UTL) has earned a consensus broker rating score of 2.50 (Hold) from the two brokers that provide coverage for the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company.

Brokers have set a twelve-month consensus price target of $51.50 for the company and are forecasting that the company will post $0.02 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Unitil an industry rank of 82 out of 255 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

A number of research firms have recently commented on UTL. Bank of America upped their price objective on Unitil from $47.00 to $49.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 1st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Unitil from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $57.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, July 24th.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Unitil by 4.0% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,133,518 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $57,855,000 after purchasing an additional 43,921 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its holdings in Unitil by 9.4% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 783,800 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $40,005,000 after purchasing an additional 67,375 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in Unitil by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 567,709 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $28,976,000 after purchasing an additional 5,609 shares in the last quarter. Impax Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in Unitil by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Impax Asset Management LLC now owns 500,954 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $25,569,000 after purchasing an additional 1,405 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Aristotle Capital Boston LLC increased its holdings in Unitil by 6.8% in the 2nd quarter. Aristotle Capital Boston LLC now owns 213,464 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $10,895,000 after purchasing an additional 13,514 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 64.16% of the company’s stock.

Shares of UTL stock traded up $0.07 on Friday, reaching $49.86. 11,072 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 49,812. The company has a market cap of $756.72 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.20, a PEG ratio of 6.51 and a beta of -0.07. The company has a quick ratio of 0.81, a current ratio of 0.87 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.06. Unitil has a 1-year low of $40.92 and a 1-year high of $53.07.

Unitil (NYSE:UTL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.24 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.24. The business had revenue of $84.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $84.40 million. Unitil had a return on equity of 9.83% and a net margin of 7.61%. As a group, analysts expect that Unitil will post 2.22 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

About Unitil

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

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