UniFirst (UNF) Receives Average Rating of “Hold” from Analysts

Shares of UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) have earned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the six research firms that are presently covering the firm, Marketbeat Ratings reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month price target among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $183.00.

Several research firms have recently commented on UNF. ValuEngine raised UniFirst from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 1st. Barrington Research reissued a “hold” rating on shares of UniFirst in a research report on Thursday, March 29th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “buy” rating and set a $183.00 price target on shares of UniFirst in a research report on Thursday, March 29th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded UniFirst from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 7th.

In other UniFirst news, VP David A. Difillippo sold 1,046 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $161.70, for a total transaction of $169,138.20. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 7,068 shares in the company, valued at $1,142,895.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP David A. Difillippo sold 1,266 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $158.95, for a total value of $201,230.70. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 7,067 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,123,299.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 4,460 shares of company stock worth $698,322 in the last three months. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Great Lakes Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of UniFirst by 38.1% in the 1st quarter. Great Lakes Advisors LLC now owns 35,447 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $5,730,000 after acquiring an additional 9,772 shares during the last quarter. Eagle Asset Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of UniFirst by 2.8% in the 4th quarter. Eagle Asset Management Inc. now owns 23,290 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $3,837,000 after acquiring an additional 643 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of UniFirst by 492.4% in the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 38,660 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $6,375,000 after acquiring an additional 32,134 shares during the last quarter. Swiss National Bank lifted its stake in shares of UniFirst by 3.1% in the 4th quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 26,700 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $4,403,000 after acquiring an additional 800 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Quadrature Capital Ltd bought a new position in shares of UniFirst in the 4th quarter valued at $368,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.32% of the company’s stock.

UniFirst stock opened at $174.40 on Friday. UniFirst has a 12 month low of $173.30 and a 12 month high of $174.20. The company has a market capitalization of $3.52 billion, a PE ratio of 33.03, a PEG ratio of 2.29 and a beta of 0.61.

UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, March 28th. The textile maker reported $1.38 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.31. UniFirst had a return on equity of 7.95% and a net margin of 6.79%. The company had revenue of $419.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $405.64 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.10 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts expect that UniFirst will post 7.58 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 29th. Investors of record on Friday, June 8th will be given a dividend of $0.1125 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 7th. This represents a $0.45 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.26%. This is an increase from UniFirst’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.04. UniFirst’s dividend payout ratio is currently 2.84%.

About UniFirst

UniFirst Corporation provides workplace uniforms and protective work wear clothing in the United States, Canada, and Europe. It operates through US Rental and Cleaning, Canadian Rental and Cleaning, Manufacturing, Specialty Garments Rental and Cleaning, and First Aid segments. The company 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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