Chesapeake Utilities (CPK) Downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Wednesday morning.

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. “

CPK has been the subject of a number of other reports. ValuEngine raised Chesapeake Utilities from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, August 17th. Janney Montgomery Scott cut Chesapeake Utilities from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $86.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Monday. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co upped their target price on Chesapeake Utilities from $86.00 to $88.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Monday. 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’s stock. Chesapeake Utilities presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $87.50.

Shares of NYSE CPK opened at $82.35 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.49, a PEG ratio of 4.10 and a beta of -0.01. The company has a quick ratio of 0.27, a current ratio of 0.30 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48. Chesapeake Utilities has a 52-week low of $66.35 and a 52-week high of $90.90.

Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 9th. The utilities provider reported $0.48 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.51 by ($0.03). The firm had revenue of $136.66 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $140.85 million. Chesapeake Utilities had a net margin of 9.68% and a return on equity of 10.75%. research analysts forecast that Chesapeake Utilities will post 3.42 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 5th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 14th will be given a dividend of $0.37 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 13th. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.80%. Chesapeake Utilities’s payout ratio is 51.21%.

In other Chesapeake Utilities news, insider John R. Schimkaitis sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.00, for a total transaction of $212,500.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 4.20% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Swiss National Bank lifted its holdings in shares of Chesapeake Utilities by 2.7% in the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 27,050 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,903,000 after buying an additional 700 shares during the period. Tortoise Index Solutions LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Chesapeake Utilities by 14.3% in the 2nd quarter. Tortoise Index Solutions LLC now owns 8,564 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $685,000 after buying an additional 1,072 shares during the period. AdvisorNet Financial Inc lifted its holdings in shares of Chesapeake Utilities by 2,424.6% in the 2nd quarter. AdvisorNet Financial Inc now owns 1,439 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $115,000 after buying an additional 1,382 shares during the period. Summit Global Investments lifted its holdings in shares of Chesapeake Utilities by 26.1% in the 2nd quarter. Summit Global Investments now owns 8,700 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $696,000 after buying an additional 1,800 shares during the period. Finally, Archford Capital Strategies LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Chesapeake Utilities in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $156,000. 63.67% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Chesapeake Utilities

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, a diversified energy company, engages in regulated and unregulated energy businesses. The company operates in two segments, Regulated Energy and Unregulated Energy. The Regulated Energy segment engages in the distribution of natural gas in Delaware, Maryland, and Florida; distribution of electricity in Florida; and transmission of natural gas on the Delmarva Peninsula and in Florida.

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