Zacks Investment Research Downgrades UGI (UGI) to Hold

UGI (NYSE:UGI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “In the past year, shares of UGI Corporation have outperformed its industry. The company is poised to benefit from long-term investment plans, aimed at strengthening its existing businesses and expand its presence in the global markets. The company has invested billion to address the infrastructural need while growing its customer base for various capital projects and acquisition in order to curb competition and to increase safety and reliability of its natural gas production and storage facilities. Also, several acquisitions and mergers completed by UGI Corporation are accretive to earnings. However, the company fulfills its propane requirement from a limited number of suppliers with fixed-price contracts and any disruption in the supply of propane will affect its business and profitability. Also, rising interest rate is a headwind as it would raise the cost of procuring funds.”

UGI has been the subject of several other research reports. ValuEngine raised UGI from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 20th. Jefferies Financial Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $54.00 price objective on shares of UGI in a report on Friday, August 17th. Bank of America boosted their price objective on UGI from $51.00 to $52.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, July 30th. Finally, Barclays boosted their price objective on UGI from $47.00 to $50.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 11th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $52.20.

Shares of UGI opened at $55.11 on Wednesday. UGI has a one year low of $42.51 and a one year high of $56.00. The company has a quick ratio of 0.99, a current ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97. The stock has a market cap of $9.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.01, a PEG ratio of 2.50 and a beta of 0.50.

UGI (NYSE:UGI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.13 by ($0.04). The company had revenue of $1.44 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.31 billion. UGI had a net margin of 11.09% and a return on equity of 11.89%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 24.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.09 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts expect that UGI will post 2.77 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, insider Joseph L. Hartz sold 18,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.51, for a total value of $999,180.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 2.36% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Qube Research & Technologies Ltd acquired a new position in UGI in the 2nd quarter worth about $124,000. Quad Cities Investment Group LLC acquired a new position in UGI in the 2nd quarter worth about $167,000. MHI Funds LLC raised its holdings in UGI by 9,160.5% in the 2nd quarter. MHI Funds LLC now owns 3,519 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $183,000 after purchasing an additional 3,481 shares during the period. Whitnell & Co. acquired a new position in UGI in the 2nd quarter worth about $195,000. Finally, Hartford Financial Management Inc. acquired a new position in UGI in the 2nd quarter worth about $196,000. 78.66% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About UGI

UGI Corporation distributes, stores, transports, and markets energy products and related services in the United States and internationally. It distributes propane to approximately 1.9 million residential, commercial/industrial, motor fuel, agricultural, and wholesale customers in 50 states through 1,900 propane distribution locations; and sells, installs, and services propane appliances, including heating systems.

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