Arizona State Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Unifirst Corporation (NYSE:UNF) by 1.3% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 8,057 shares of the textile maker’s stock after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Arizona State Retirement System’s holdings in Unifirst Corporation were worth $1,140,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in UNF. Elkfork Partners LLC purchased a new stake in Unifirst Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $117,000. Huntington National Bank raised its stake in Unifirst Corporation by 10.3% in the first quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 1,208 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $171,000 after buying an additional 113 shares during the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. purchased a new stake in Unifirst Corporation during the first quarter valued at approximately $185,000. Wexford Capital LP purchased a new stake in Unifirst Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $219,000. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue raised its stake in Unifirst Corporation by 2.4% in the first quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 1,710 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $241,000 after buying an additional 40 shares during the last quarter. 74.80% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Unifirst Corporation (NYSE:UNF)

Unifirst Corporation (NYSE UNF) opened at 141.20 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $2.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.68 and a beta of 0.75. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $139.89 and its 200 day moving average is $136.93. Unifirst Corporation has a 12-month low of $104.86 and a 12-month high of $147.65.

Unifirst Corporation (NYSE:UNF) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, March 29th. The textile maker reported $1.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $391.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $385.28 million. Unifirst Corporation had a return on equity of 7.75% and a net margin of 7.70%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.16 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Unifirst Corporation will post $5.01 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 30th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 9th will be paid a $0.0375 dividend. This represents a $0.15 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.11%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, June 7th. Unifirst Corporation’s payout ratio is presently 2.60%.

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Separately, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Unifirst Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $157.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, May 30th.

In related news, Director Phillip L. Cohen sold 1,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, April 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $137.02, for a total transaction of $205,530.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 11,551 shares in the company, valued at $1,582,718.02. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Cynthia Croatti sold 1,755 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $142.00, for a total value of $249,210.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 4,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $568,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 4,963 shares of company stock valued at $683,971 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 6.70% of the company’s stock.

About Unifirst Corporation

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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