Raymond James & Associates Sells 5,981 Shares of UniFirst Corp (UNF)

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Raymond James & Associates cut its position in shares of UniFirst Corp (NYSE:UNF) by 14.5% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 35,358 shares of the textile maker’s stock after selling 5,981 shares during the quarter. Raymond James & Associates’ holdings in UniFirst were worth $5,059,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc lifted its stake in UniFirst by 1.8% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 1,525,600 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $264,920,000 after purchasing an additional 26,297 shares during the period. Bessemer Group Inc. lifted its stake in UniFirst by 34.1% during the third quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 11,400 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $1,980,000 after purchasing an additional 2,900 shares during the period. Meeder Asset Management Inc. lifted its stake in UniFirst by 2,141.7% during the fourth quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,152 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $307,000 after purchasing an additional 2,056 shares during the period. Eagle Asset Management Inc. lifted its stake in UniFirst by 60.3% during the third quarter. Eagle Asset Management Inc. now owns 42,471 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $7,375,000 after purchasing an additional 15,982 shares during the period. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its stake in UniFirst by 3.5% during the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 106,124 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $18,428,000 after purchasing an additional 3,578 shares during the period. 76.51% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other news, major shareholder The Ronald D. Croatti Trust – 1 sold 5,584 shares of UniFirst stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $137.81, for a total value of $769,531.04. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP David Martin Katz sold 1,326 shares of UniFirst stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $148.00, for a total transaction of $196,248.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 7,609 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,126,132. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 23,946 shares of company stock valued at $3,355,350 in the last quarter. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Shares of UNF opened at $138.57 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $2.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.60 and a beta of 0.67. UniFirst Corp has a 12 month low of $132.38 and a 12 month high of $193.05.

UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, January 3rd. The textile maker reported $1.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.92 by ($0.04). UniFirst had a net margin of 9.44% and a return on equity of 8.69%. The firm had revenue of $438.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $433.21 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.67 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 5.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that UniFirst Corp will post 6.83 EPS for the current year.

UniFirst declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Thursday, January 3rd that permits the company to repurchase $100.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the textile maker to reacquire up to 3.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 29th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 8th will be paid a $0.1125 dividend. This represents a $0.45 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.32%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 7th. UniFirst’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 6.04%.

A number of research analysts have commented on UNF shares. ValuEngine cut shares of UniFirst from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, January 4th. Robert W. Baird cut their price target on shares of UniFirst from $170.00 to $152.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, January 4th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of UniFirst from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, January 11th.

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UniFirst Profile

UniFirst Corporation provides workplace uniforms and protective work wear clothing in the United States, Europe, and Canada. The company operates through U.S. Rental and Cleaning, Canadian Rental and Cleaning, Manufacturing, Specialty Garments Rental and Cleaning, and First Aid segments. It designs, manufactures, personalizes, rents, cleans, delivers, and sells a range of uniforms and protective clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets, coveralls, lab coats, smocks, and aprons; and specialized protective wear, such as flame resistant and high visibility garments.

Further Reading: What is the price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio?

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for UniFirst (NYSE:UNF)

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