Chesapeake Utilities Corp. (NYSE:CPK) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is a utility company engaged in natural gas distribution and transmission, propane distribution and marketing, advanced information services and other related businesses.Chesapeake’s three natural gas distribution divisions serve residential, commercial and industrial customers in southern Delaware, Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Florida. The Company’s natural gas transmission subsidiary operates an interstate pipeline system that transports gas from various points in Pennsylvania to Delaware and Maryland distribution divisions. “

Separately, Janney Montgomery Scott upgraded Chesapeake Utilities Corp. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $59.00 to $71.00 in a research report on Monday, August 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $70.33.

Analyst Recommendations for Chesapeake Utilities Corp. (NYSE:CPK)

Chesapeake Utilities Corp. (NYSE:CPK) opened at 67.30 on Monday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $62.60 and its 200-day moving average price is $62.46. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.10 billion, a PE ratio of 24.91 and a beta of 0.19. Chesapeake Utilities Corp. has a 12-month low of $51.44 and a 12-month high of $68.00.

Chesapeake Utilities Corp. (NYSE:CPK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 3rd. The company reported $0.29 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.11. Chesapeake Utilities Corp. had a net margin of 8.98% and a return on equity of 11.34%. The business earned $108.35 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $100.70 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.33 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 17.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Chesapeake Utilities Corp. will post $2.87 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 5th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 15th will be given a dividend of $0.305 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, December 13th. This represents a $1.22 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.81%. Chesapeake Utilities Corp.’s payout ratio is 45.19%.

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In other Chesapeake Utilities Corp. news, insider John R. Schimkaitis sold 500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.62, for a total transaction of $31,310.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 5.36% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD boosted its position in Chesapeake Utilities Corp. by 6.7% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 1,343,612 shares of the company’s stock worth $82,041,000 after buying an additional 84,740 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in Chesapeake Utilities Corp. by 1.5% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 498,901 shares of the company’s stock worth $33,016,000 after buying an additional 7,278 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its position in Chesapeake Utilities Corp. by 7.6% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 446,259 shares of the company’s stock worth $29,533,000 after buying an additional 31,665 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its position in Chesapeake Utilities Corp. by 7.0% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 377,999 shares of the company’s stock worth $23,081,000 after buying an additional 24,582 shares during the period. Finally, Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. boosted its position in Chesapeake Utilities Corp. by 536.8% in the third quarter. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. now owns 296,575 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,109,000 after buying an additional 250,000 shares during the period. 57.15% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Chesapeake Utilities Corp.

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (Chesapeake) is an energy company. The Company, through its operating divisions and subsidiaries, is engaged in regulated and unregulated energy businesses. It provides natural gas distribution and transmission, natural gas supply, gathering and processing, electric distribution and propane distribution service.

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