Unilever (NYSE:UL) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Unilever (NYSE:UL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has $68.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Unilever plc is engaged in manufacturing of branded and packaged consumer goods, including food, detergents and personal care products. The Company also has interests in specialty chemicals. Unilever sells its products internationally. “

UL has been the topic of several other research reports. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed an outperform rating on shares of Unilever in a research note on Wednesday, April 15th. Societe Generale reissued a sell rating on shares of Unilever in a research note on Thursday, June 4th. UBS Group lowered Unilever from a neutral rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, June 29th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a neutral rating on shares of Unilever in a research note on Thursday, July 2nd. Finally, DZ Bank lowered Unilever from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 28th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $56.50.

Shares of UL opened at $60.48 on Wednesday. Unilever has a 12-month low of $44.06 and a 12-month high of $64.84. The firm has a market capitalization of $71.79 billion, a PE ratio of 21.15 and a beta of 0.52. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $56.37 and its 200-day simple moving average is $54.73.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 9th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 7th will be issued a $0.4694 dividend. This is an increase from Unilever’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.44. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 6th. Unilever’s dividend payout ratio is 61.54%.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC increased its holdings in shares of Unilever by 810.7% in the first quarter. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC now owns 510 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,000 after acquiring an additional 454 shares in the last quarter. RMR Wealth Builders bought a new stake in shares of Unilever in the fourth quarter worth about $27,000. WASHINGTON TRUST Co bought a new stake in shares of Unilever in the first quarter worth about $27,000. CNB Bank bought a new stake in shares of Unilever in the second quarter worth about $30,000. Finally, Verus Capital Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Unilever in the fourth quarter worth about $41,000. Institutional investors own 7.30% of the company’s stock.

Unilever Company Profile

Unilever PLC operates in the fast moving consumer goods industry worldwide. It operates through Beauty & Personal Care, Foods & Refreshment, and Home Care segments. The Beauty & Personal Care segment offers skin care and hair care products, deodorants, and oral care products primarily under the Axe, Dove, Lux, Rexona, Sunsilk, TRESemmé, Signal, Lifebuoy, and Vaseline brands.

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