Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $144.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.

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. “

Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. Siebert Williams Shank began coverage on Chesapeake Utilities in a research note on Wednesday, May 19th. They issued a buy rating and a $135.00 price target on the stock. Maxim Group lifted their price target on Chesapeake Utilities from $135.00 to $155.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, August 6th.

Shares of CPK opened at $125.30 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.34, a quick ratio of 0.30 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $126.47 and its two-hundred day moving average is $120.76. The firm has a market cap of $2.20 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.36 and a beta of 0.39. Chesapeake Utilities has a 12 month low of $72.89 and a 12 month high of $133.40.

Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.78 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $111.08 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $117.30 million. Chesapeake Utilities had a return on equity of 11.39% and a net margin of 14.77%. Equities research analysts forecast that Chesapeake Utilities will post 4.59 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 5th. Investors of record on Wednesday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.48 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 14th. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.53%. Chesapeake Utilities’s payout ratio is 45.61%.

In related news, insider John R. Schimkaitis sold 1,393 shares of Chesapeake Utilities stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $132.00, for a total transaction of $183,876.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider John R. Schimkaitis sold 784 shares of Chesapeake Utilities stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $132.11, for a total value of $103,574.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 4,718 shares of company stock worth $595,644. 2.57% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Profund Advisors LLC raised its position in Chesapeake Utilities by 5.0% in the second quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 2,138 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $258,000 after purchasing an additional 101 shares during the period. Sei Investments Co. raised its position in Chesapeake Utilities by 3.2% in the first quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 3,863 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $433,000 after purchasing an additional 119 shares during the period. ICW Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in Chesapeake Utilities by 4.3% in the first quarter. ICW Investment Advisors LLC now owns 4,519 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $525,000 after purchasing an additional 188 shares during the period. Heritage Wealth Management LLC raised its position in Chesapeake Utilities by 57.4% in the second quarter. Heritage Wealth Management LLC now owns 521 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $63,000 after purchasing an additional 190 shares during the period. Finally, Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. purchased a new stake in Chesapeake Utilities in the second quarter valued at $82,000. Institutional investors own 74.66% of the company’s stock.

About Chesapeake Utilities

Chesapeake Utilities Corp. engages in the distribution and transmission of natural gas, propane and electricity; and generation of electricity and steam. It operates through the following segments: Regulated Energy and Unregulated Energy. The Regulated Energy segment distributes and transmits gas, natural gas, and electricity.

Further Reading: When can a hold rating present a buying opportunity?

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