Shares of Unifirst Corporation (NYSE:UNF) have been given an average broker rating score of 2.67 (Hold) from the six analysts that provide coverage for the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and one has given a strong buy recommendation to the company.

Brokers have set a 12 month consensus target price of $158.00 for the company and are anticipating that the company will post $1.41 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Unifirst an industry rank of 221 out of 265 based on the ratings given to related companies.

A number of equities research analysts recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Unifirst from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $159.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Robert W. Baird increased their price target on Unifirst from $163.00 to $171.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 19th. Finally, Northcoast Research restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Unifirst in a research report on Thursday, October 19th.

Shares of Unifirst (UNF) opened at $170.45 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $3,405.19, a P/E ratio of 31.81, a P/E/G ratio of 3.19 and a beta of 0.74. Unifirst has a 12-month low of $124.85 and a 12-month high of $171.07.

Unifirst (NYSE:UNF) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The textile maker reported $1.44 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.20. The business had revenue of $403.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $392.15 million. Unifirst had a return on equity of 7.53% and a net margin of 4.40%. Unifirst’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.27 EPS. equities analysts forecast that Unifirst will post 5.26 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 5th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 8th will be issued a dividend of $0.0375 per share. This represents a $0.15 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.09%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 7th. Unifirst’s dividend payout ratio is 4.37%.

In other Unifirst news, VP David Martin Katz sold 1,060 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $168.15, for a total transaction of $178,239.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 2,667 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $448,456.05. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Michael A. Croatti sold 1,216 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $168.99, for a total value of $205,491.84. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 3,375 shares in the company, valued at approximately $570,341.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of UNF. Aperio Group LLC lifted its holdings in Unifirst by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 4,585 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $645,000 after buying an additional 104 shares in the last quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan lifted its holdings in Unifirst by 3.4% during the 2nd quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 3,640 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $512,000 after buying an additional 120 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Unifirst by 5.9% during the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 94,034 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $13,231,000 after buying an additional 5,215 shares in the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers lifted its holdings in Unifirst by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 33,608 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $4,729,000 after buying an additional 457 shares in the last quarter. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC lifted its holdings in Unifirst by 209.7% during the 2nd quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 5,538 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $779,000 after buying an additional 3,750 shares in the last quarter. 74.21% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Unifirst Company Profile

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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