Unitil Co. Plans Quarterly Dividend of $0.38 (NYSE:UTL)

Unitil Co. (NYSE:UTL) declared a quarterly dividend on Wednesday, July 29th, Zacks reports. Investors of record on Friday, August 14th will be paid a dividend of 0.375 per share by the utilities provider on Friday, August 28th. This represents a $1.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.50%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 13th.

Unitil has raised its dividend by an average of 4.2% per year over the last three years and has increased its dividend every year for the last 5 years. Unitil has a dividend payout ratio of 65.8% meaning its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Equities analysts expect Unitil to earn $2.55 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $1.50 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 58.8%.

NYSE UTL traded down $1.32 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $42.90. 1,338 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 48,454. Unitil has a 52 week low of $39.33 and a 52 week high of $65.76. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $45.82 and its 200-day simple moving average is $52.75. The company has a market cap of $639.99 million, a PE ratio of 20.01, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.21 and a beta of 0.17. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.13, a current ratio of 0.86 and a quick ratio of 0.79.

Unitil (NYSE:UTL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 30th. The utilities provider reported $0.21 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.22 by ($0.01). Unitil had a return on equity of 8.73% and a net margin of 7.90%. The company had revenue of $83.90 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $81.00 million. On average, research analysts predict that Unitil will post 2.26 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on UTL shares. TheStreet lowered Unitil from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 9th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “hold” rating and set a $56.00 price target on shares of Unitil in a research note on Thursday, July 23rd. Bank of America lowered their price objective on shares of Unitil from $53.00 to $52.00 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, May 6th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Unitil from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, June 12th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $56.67.

About Unitil

Unitil Corporation, a public utility holding company, engages in the distribution of electricity and natural gas in the United States. It operates through three segments: Utility Gas Operations, Utility Electric Operations, and Non-Regulated. The company distributes electricity in the southeastern seacoast and state capital regions of New Hampshire, and the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts; and distributes natural gas in southeastern New Hampshire, portions of southern Maine to the Lewiston-Auburn area, and in the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts.

See Also: Return on Equity (ROE)

Dividend History for Unitil (NYSE:UTL)

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