Unitil Co. (NYSE:UTL) has been given an average broker rating score of 2.50 (Hold) from the two analysts that cover the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. One equities 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 1 year consensus target price of $51.50 for the company and are anticipating 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 81 out of 255 based on the ratings given to related companies.

Several research firms have weighed in on UTL. Zacks Investment Research raised Unitil from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $57.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, July 24th. Bank of America boosted their price target on Unitil from $47.00 to $49.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st.

NYSE:UTL opened at $52.32 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $775.01 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.40, a P/E/G ratio of 6.67 and a beta of -0.05. Unitil has a twelve month low of $40.92 and a twelve month high of $53.07. The company has a current ratio of 0.87, a quick ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.06.

Unitil (NYSE:UTL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.24 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.24. The firm had revenue of $84.50 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $84.40 million. Unitil had a return on equity of 9.83% and a net margin of 7.61%. research analysts forecast that Unitil will post 2.22 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, August 29th. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 15th were issued a dividend of $0.365 per share. This represents a $1.46 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.79%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 14th. Unitil’s payout ratio is presently 70.87%.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of UTL. Assetmark Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Unitil by 1,016.3% during the 1st quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 2,735 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $127,000 after acquiring an additional 2,490 shares during the last quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Unitil during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $164,000. SG Americas Securities LLC increased its holdings in shares of Unitil by 52.5% during the 1st quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 3,588 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $167,000 after acquiring an additional 1,235 shares during the last quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new position in shares of Unitil during the 1st quarter worth approximately $200,000. Finally, Sigma Planning Corp acquired a new position in shares of Unitil during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $205,000. 64.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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