UNITIL Corporation (UTL) Increases Dividend to $0.37 Per Share

UNITIL Corporation (NYSE:UTL) declared a quarterly dividend on Wednesday, January 31st, Wall Street Journal reports. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 14th will be given a dividend of 0.365 per share by the utilities provider on Wednesday, February 28th. This represents a $1.46 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.44%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, February 13th. This is a boost from UNITIL’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36.

UNITIL has increased its dividend by an average of 1.4% per year over the last three years and has raised its dividend annually for the last 3 consecutive years. UNITIL has a payout ratio of 70.9% meaning its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Research analysts expect UNITIL to earn $2.26 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $1.44 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 63.7%.

UNITIL (NYSE UTL) opened at $42.46 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $638.76, a PE ratio of 20.61 and a beta of 0.13. UNITIL has a one year low of $40.92 and a one year high of $52.84. The company has a current ratio of 1.00, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.13.

UNITIL (NYSE:UTL) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $115.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $107.40 million. UNITIL had a net margin of 7.14% and a return on equity of 9.38%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.73 EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that UNITIL will post 2.14 earnings per share for the current year.

UTL has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Janney Montgomery Scott upgraded UNITIL from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $52.00 to $50.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 26th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Bank of America initiated coverage on UNITIL in a report on Monday, December 18th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $49.00 price target for the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded UNITIL from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $58.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada restated a “hold” rating and issued a $47.00 price target on shares of UNITIL in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $51.00.

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UNITIL Company Profile

Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company. The Company’s principal business is the local distribution of electricity in the southeastern seacoast and state capital regions of New Hampshire and the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts and the local distribution of 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.

Dividend History for UNITIL (NYSE:UTL)

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