UniFirst Corp (NYSE:UNF) – Research analysts at William Blair raised their FY2018 earnings per share estimates for shares of UniFirst in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, June 27th. William Blair analyst T. Mulrooney now anticipates that the textile maker will post earnings per share of $6.15 for the year, up from their previous estimate of $6.05.
Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Zacks Investment Research raised UniFirst from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $198.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Saturday. Barrington Research reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of UniFirst in a research report on Thursday, March 29th. Finally, Robert W. Baird raised their price objective on UniFirst from $183.00 to $198.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $198.00.
UNF opened at $181.20 on Monday. UniFirst has a 12-month low of $135.95 and a 12-month high of $193.05. The company has a market capitalization of $3.59 billion, a PE ratio of 34.32, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.82 and a beta of 0.61.
UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, June 27th. The textile maker reported $1.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.56 by $0.02. UniFirst had a return on equity of 8.21% and a net margin of 7.45%. The company had revenue of $427.38 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $420.45 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.19 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in UNF. Teacher Retirement System of Texas bought a new position in UniFirst during the 4th quarter worth $869,000. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its stake in UniFirst by 8.4% during the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 22,914 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $3,779,000 after acquiring an additional 1,766 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP increased its stake in UniFirst by 4.2% during the 4th quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 11,570 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $1,908,000 after acquiring an additional 468 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in UniFirst by 13.0% during the 4th quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 116,508 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $19,212,000 after acquiring an additional 13,379 shares during the period. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its stake in UniFirst by 5.2% during the 4th quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 40,702 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $6,711,000 after acquiring an additional 2,002 shares during the period. 71.78% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In related news, insider Steven S. Sintros sold 902 shares of UniFirst stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $172.65, for a total transaction of $155,730.30. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 5,689 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $982,205.85. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Steven S. Sintros sold 919 shares of UniFirst stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $181.75, for a total value of $167,028.25. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 5,690 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,034,157.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 2,867 shares of company stock valued at $491,897. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 28th. Investors of record on Friday, September 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.1125 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 6th. This represents a $0.45 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.25%. UniFirst’s payout ratio is currently 8.52%.
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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