Equities research analysts expect Chesapeake Utilities Co. (NYSE:CPK) to report earnings per share (EPS) of $0.48 for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Two analysts have provided estimates for Chesapeake Utilities’ earnings, with estimates ranging from $0.45 to $0.52. Chesapeake Utilities reported earnings per share of $0.42 during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 14.3%. The company is expected to issue its next earnings report on Thursday, November 8th.

On average, analysts expect that Chesapeake Utilities will report full year earnings of $3.41 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.40 to $3.42. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the firm will report earnings of $3.67 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.66 to $3.70. Zacks’ EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that that provide coverage for Chesapeake Utilities.

Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 9th. The utilities provider reported $0.48 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.51 by ($0.03). The business had revenue of $136.66 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $140.85 million. Chesapeake Utilities had a net margin of 9.68% and a return on equity of 10.75%.

Several research firms have weighed in on CPK. Zacks Investment Research cut Chesapeake Utilities from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 3rd. Wells Fargo & Co raised their price target on Chesapeake Utilities from $86.00 to $88.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, September 24th. Janney Montgomery Scott cut Chesapeake Utilities from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $86.00 price target for the company. in a report on Monday, September 24th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Chesapeake Utilities from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $87.50.

NYSE CPK traded down $1.72 during trading on Friday, hitting $79.79. 38,018 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 58,715. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.37 billion and a PE ratio of 27.61. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48, a current ratio of 0.30 and a quick ratio of 0.27. Chesapeake Utilities has a 12-month low of $66.35 and a 12-month high of $90.90.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 5th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 14th were issued a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.85%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 13th. Chesapeake Utilities’s dividend payout ratio is presently 51.21%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Chesapeake Utilities by 13.9% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,195,316 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $95,566,000 after buying an additional 145,855 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in Chesapeake Utilities by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 543,699 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $43,469,000 after buying an additional 4,951 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Chesapeake Utilities by 9.3% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 341,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $27,287,000 after purchasing an additional 29,100 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Chesapeake Utilities by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 206,591 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $16,516,000 after purchasing an additional 2,466 shares during the period. Finally, Millennium Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Chesapeake Utilities by 131.4% in the 1st quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 138,449 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $9,740,000 after purchasing an additional 78,623 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 63.67% of the company’s stock.

Chesapeake Utilities Company Profile

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, a diversified energy company, engages in regulated and unregulated energy businesses. The company operates in two segments, Regulated Energy and Unregulated Energy. The Regulated Energy segment engages in the distribution of natural gas in Delaware, Maryland, and Florida; distribution of electricity in Florida; and transmission of natural gas on the Delmarva Peninsula and in Florida.

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