UniFirst Corp (UNF) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of UniFirst Corp (NYSE:UNF) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning. The firm currently has $157.00 price objective on the textile maker’s stock.

According to Zacks, “UniFirst Corporation is a provider of workplace uniforms and protective clothing. They rent, manufacture and sell a wide range of uniforms and protective clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets, coveralls, jumpsuits, lab coats, smocks and aprons, and also rent industrial wiping products, floormats and other non-garment items, to a variety of manufacturers, retailers and service companies. They serve businesses of all sizes in numerous industry categories. “

Shares of UniFirst Corp (UNF) opened at 144.80 on Tuesday. UniFirst Corp has a one year low of $104.86 and a one year high of $147.65. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $139.39 and a 200-day moving average of $136.87. The stock has a market cap of $2.94 billion, a PE ratio of 25.31 and a beta of 0.76.

UniFirst Corp (NYSE:UNF) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, March 29th. The textile maker reported $1.10 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.09. UniFirst Corp had a net margin of 7.92% and a return on equity of 7.99%. The business had revenue of $391.40 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $385.28 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.16 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that UniFirst Corp will post $5.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 30th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 9th will be issued a $0.0375 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 7th. This represents a $0.15 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.10%. UniFirst Corp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 2.60%.

In other news, VP Steven S. Sintros sold 1,115 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $131.10, for a total value of $146,176.50. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 2,666 shares in the company, valued at approximately $349,512.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Cynthia Croatti sold 1,708 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $134.21, for a total transaction of $229,230.68. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 4,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $536,840. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 6,212 shares of company stock valued at $847,808. Company insiders own 6.70% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in UniFirst Corp by 52,993.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,852,961 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $262,102,000 after buying an additional 1,849,471 shares in the last quarter. TimesSquare Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in UniFirst Corp during the first quarter valued at approximately $46,588,000. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in UniFirst Corp during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $31,693,000. Neuberger Berman Group LLC raised its stake in UniFirst Corp by 32.4% in the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 693,703 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $98,124,000 after buying an additional 169,919 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. acquired a new stake in UniFirst Corp during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $18,423,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.94% of the company’s stock.

About UniFirst Corp

UniFirst Corporation is a provider of workplace uniforms and protective work wear clothing in the United States. The Company designs, manufactures, personalizes, rents, cleans, delivers, and sells a range of uniforms and protective clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets, coveralls, lab coats, smocks, aprons and specialized protective wear, such as flame resistant and high visibility garments.

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