Unitil Co. (NYSE:UTL) saw a significant growth in short interest in October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 98,900 shares, a growth of 20.0% from the September 30th total of 82,400 shares. Approximately 0.7% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 58,100 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 1.7 days.
A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on UTL shares. ValuEngine lowered shares of Unitil from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 6th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Unitil from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Sunday, November 3rd.
Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Unitil by 9.8% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 876,534 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $52,495,000 after purchasing an additional 78,153 shares during the last quarter. Summit Global Investments increased its position in shares of Unitil by 1.5% in the second quarter. Summit Global Investments now owns 13,498 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $808,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE increased its position in shares of Unitil by 9.5% in the second quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 39,342 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,357,000 after acquiring an additional 3,425 shares in the last quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp acquired a new stake in shares of Unitil in the third quarter worth $378,000. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in shares of Unitil by 4.4% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 85,482 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $5,111,000 after acquiring an additional 3,618 shares in the last quarter. 66.85% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Unitil (NYSE:UTL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 24th. The utilities provider reported $0.15 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.14 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $85.30 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $87.00 million. Unitil had a net margin of 9.79% and a return on equity of 9.27%. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Unitil will post 2.32 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 27th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 13th will be given a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.51%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 12th. Unitil’s dividend payout ratio is presently 66.37%.
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.
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