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

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Wednesday, January 10th.

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, Sidoti assumed coverage on shares of Chesapeake Utilities in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. They issued a neutral rating and a $85.00 price objective for the company.

Shares of Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE CPK) traded down $0.40 on Wednesday, hitting $69.10. 93,185 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 57,326. The company has a current ratio of 0.44, a quick ratio of 0.39 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43. The company has a market cap of $1,130.00, a P/E ratio of 25.78, a PEG ratio of 3.42 and a beta of 0.27. Chesapeake Utilities has a 52 week low of $63.10 and a 52 week high of $86.35.

Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 9th. The utilities provider reported $0.42 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.35 by $0.07. Chesapeake Utilities had a net margin of 7.58% and a return on equity of 9.58%. analysts expect that Chesapeake Utilities will post 2.85 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 15th were given a $0.325 dividend. This represents a $1.30 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.88%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 14th. Chesapeake Utilities’s payout ratio is presently 48.51%.

In other Chesapeake Utilities news, insider John R. Schimkaitis sold 2,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.65, for a total transaction of $191,625.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Thomas P. Hill, Jr. bought 1,000 shares of Chesapeake Utilities stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 21st. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $75.62 per share, for a total transaction of $75,620.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 4.16% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of CPK. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Chesapeake Utilities by 1,995.1% in the 2nd quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 96,876 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $7,261,000 after purchasing an additional 92,252 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in shares of Chesapeake Utilities by 118.2% in the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 42,346 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,173,000 after purchasing an additional 22,935 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Chesapeake Utilities by 2.4% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 859,001 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $64,383,000 after purchasing an additional 20,470 shares during the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP bought a new stake in shares of Chesapeake Utilities in the 2nd quarter valued at $942,000. Finally, NJ State Employees Deferred Compensation Plan bought a new stake in shares of Chesapeake Utilities in the 3rd quarter valued at $861,000. 62.16% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Chesapeake Utilities Company Profile

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (Chesapeake) is an energy company. The Company operates through two segments: Regulated Energy and Unregulated Energy. The Company provides natural gas distribution and transmission; natural gas supply, gathering, processing and marketing; electric distribution and generation; propane distribution; propane and crude oil wholesale marketing; steam generation, and other energy-related services.

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