UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) issued its earnings results on Tuesday. The textile maker reported $2.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.95 by $0.05, MarketWatch Earnings reports. UniFirst had a net margin of 8.27% and a return on equity of 8.29%. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $2.20 earnings per share.
UNF stock traded up $2.37 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $198.39. 1,433 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 96,153. The business has a 50 day simple moving average of $201.99 and a 200-day simple moving average of $213.86. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.74 billion, a PE ratio of 24.69 and a beta of 0.98. UniFirst has a 1-year low of $189.84 and a 1-year high of $258.86.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 4th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 7th were given a dividend of $0.30 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 6th. This is an increase from UniFirst’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.25. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.60%. UniFirst’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 15.11%.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in UNF. Jane Street Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of UniFirst in the third quarter valued at approximately $553,000. LPL Financial LLC increased its stake in UniFirst by 34.4% in the third quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 5,223 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $1,111,000 after acquiring an additional 1,338 shares during the last quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC increased its stake in UniFirst by 38.6% in the third quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC now owns 7,082 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $1,505,000 after acquiring an additional 1,974 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased its stake in UniFirst by 31.2% in the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 53,869 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $12,640,000 after acquiring an additional 12,803 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 76.87% of the company’s stock.
Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on UNF shares. Robert W. Baird upgraded shares of UniFirst from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of UniFirst from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 22nd.
UniFirst Corp. engages in the design, manufacture, personalization, rental, cleaning, delivery, and sale of a range of uniforms and protective clothing. It operates through following segments: U.S. Rental and Cleaning, Canadian Rental and Cleaning, Manufacturing, Specialty Garments Rental and Cleaning, First Aid, and Corporate.
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