Brokerages Anticipate UniFirst (UNF) to Announce $1.56 EPS

Equities research analysts predict that UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) will post earnings of $1.56 per share for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Four analysts have issued estimates for UniFirst’s earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $1.51 and the highest is $1.60. UniFirst reported earnings of $1.36 per share in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year-over-year growth rate of 14.7%. The business is scheduled to issue its next earnings report on Wednesday, June 27th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that UniFirst will report full-year earnings of $7.30 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.07 to $7.88. For the next year, analysts forecast that the firm will post earnings of $7.28 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $7.08 to $7.45. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS averages are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that follow UniFirst.

UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, March 28th. The textile maker reported $1.38 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.31. The business had revenue of $419.30 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $405.64 million. UniFirst had a net margin of 6.79% and a return on equity of 7.95%. The company’s revenue was up 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.10 EPS.

UNF has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. ValuEngine upgraded shares of UniFirst from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, March 1st. Barrington Research reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of UniFirst in a report on Thursday, March 29th. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $183.00 price objective on shares of UniFirst in a report on Thursday, March 29th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of UniFirst from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 7th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $186.00.

In related news, VP David A. Difillippo sold 993 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $150.00, for a total value of $148,950.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP David A. Difillippo sold 1,046 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, April 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $161.70, for a total transaction of $169,138.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 7,068 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,142,895.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 3,457 shares of company stock worth $542,807. Insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of UNF. Mesirow Financial Investment Management Equity Management purchased a new position in UniFirst in the first quarter valued at approximately $13,966,000. Deutsche Bank AG raised its holdings in UniFirst by 401.0% in the fourth quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 102,784 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $16,947,000 after buying an additional 82,269 shares during the period. WCM Investment Management CA raised its holdings in UniFirst by 466.1% in the fourth quarter. WCM Investment Management CA now owns 83,449 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $13,761,000 after buying an additional 68,707 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in UniFirst by 3.2% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,948,654 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $321,334,000 after buying an additional 60,478 shares during the period. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its holdings in UniFirst by 55.1% in the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 107,800 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $17,776,000 after buying an additional 38,300 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.73% of the company’s stock.

Shares of UniFirst traded down $2.55, hitting $174.15, during trading hours on Tuesday, Marketbeat.com reports. 58,200 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 61,445. The firm has a market cap of $3.57 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.47, a PEG ratio of 2.93 and a beta of 0.61. UniFirst has a 1 year low of $135.95 and a 1 year high of $178.02.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 29th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 8th will be issued a dividend of $0.1125 per share. This is a positive change from UniFirst’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.04. This represents a $0.45 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.26%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 7th. UniFirst’s dividend payout ratio is presently 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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