Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. The firm currently has a $87.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 13.73% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is a utility company engaged in natural gas distribution and transmission, propane distribution and marketing, advanced information services and other related businesses.Chesapeake’s three natural gas distribution divisions serve residential, commercial and industrial customers in southern Delaware, Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Florida. The Company’s natural gas transmission subsidiary operates an interstate pipeline system that transports gas from various points in Pennsylvania to Delaware and Maryland distribution divisions. “

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on the stock. Sidoti raised shares of Chesapeake Utilities from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, March 19th. Seaport Global Securities reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Chesapeake Utilities in a research report on Monday, March 5th.

Shares of CPK opened at $76.50 on Tuesday. Chesapeake Utilities has a fifty-two week low of $76.40 and a fifty-two week high of $77.25. The company has a current ratio of 0.37, a quick ratio of 0.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44. The company has a market cap of $1.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.74 and a beta of 0.20.

Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 9th. The utilities provider reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.04. Chesapeake Utilities had a net margin of 9.80% and a return on equity of 10.64%. research analysts forecast that Chesapeake Utilities will post 3.45 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Stephen C. Thompson sold 2,156 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, May 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.40, for a total value of $164,718.40. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 73,605 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,623,422. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Stephen C. Thompson sold 1,994 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.77, for a total transaction of $153,079.38. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 73,605 shares in the company, valued at $5,650,655.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 8,913 shares of company stock worth $658,618 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 4.20% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of CPK. Archford Capital Strategies LLC purchased a new position in shares of Chesapeake Utilities in the 1st quarter valued at $156,000. LPL Financial LLC purchased a new position in shares of Chesapeake Utilities in the 1st quarter valued at $217,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. purchased a new position in shares of Chesapeake Utilities in the 3rd quarter valued at $229,000. Telemus Capital LLC purchased a new position in shares of Chesapeake Utilities in the 4th quarter valued at $237,000. Finally, Northeast Financial Consultants Inc purchased a new position in shares of Chesapeake Utilities in the 4th quarter valued at $282,000. 62.33% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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