UniFirst Co. (NYSE:UNF – Get Free Report) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 165,300 shares, a growth of 18.8% from the August 15th total of 139,200 shares. Approximately 1.1% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 79,400 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.1 days.
Hedge Funds Weigh In On UniFirst
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Covestor Ltd raised its holdings in UniFirst by 187.4% in the first quarter. Covestor Ltd now owns 273 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $50,000 after purchasing an additional 178 shares in the last quarter. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of UniFirst in the 1st quarter worth about $69,000. Trifecta Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of UniFirst in the 1st quarter worth about $70,000. Allspring Global Investments Holdings LLC lifted its position in UniFirst by 29.7% during the 1st quarter. Allspring Global Investments Holdings LLC now owns 454 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $80,000 after acquiring an additional 104 shares during the period. Finally, SRS Capital Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in UniFirst by 16.7% during the second quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 579 shares of the textile maker’s stock worth $90,000 after acquiring an additional 83 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.69% of the company’s stock.
UniFirst Price Performance
UniFirst stock traded down $0.37 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $172.00. The company had a trading volume of 35,575 shares, compared to its average volume of 73,462. The firm has a market cap of $3.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.72 and a beta of 0.83. UniFirst has a 12-month low of $150.50 and a 12-month high of $205.59. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $166.42 and a 200 day moving average price of $170.46.
UniFirst Announces Dividend
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 28th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 7th will be issued a $0.31 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 6th. This represents a $1.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.72%. UniFirst’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 22.79%.
Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth
A number of equities analysts have recently commented on the company. UBS Group began coverage on UniFirst in a report on Wednesday, May 31st. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $185.00 price target for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reduced their target price on UniFirst from $155.00 to $150.00 in a report on Thursday, June 29th. Finally, StockNews.com initiated coverage on UniFirst in a research report on Thursday, August 17th. They set a “hold” rating on the stock.
UniFirst Corporation provides workplace uniforms and protective work wear clothing in the United States, Europe, and Canada. The company operates through U.S. and Canadian Rental and Cleaning, Manufacturing, Specialty Garments Rental and Cleaning, and First Aid segments. It designs, manufactures, personalizes, rents, cleans, delivers, and sells a range of uniforms and protective clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets, coveralls, lab coats, smocks, and aprons; and specialized protective wear, such as flame resistant and high visibility garments.
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