Reinhart Partners Inc. increased its stake in shares of UniFirst Corp (NYSE:UNF) by 42.2% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 14,096 shares of the textile maker’s stock after buying an additional 4,182 shares during the quarter. Reinhart Partners Inc. owned about 0.07% of UniFirst worth $2,164,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc bought a new position in UniFirst during the 4th quarter worth $28,000. KBC Group NV acquired a new position in UniFirst during the 4th quarter valued at about $55,000. LS Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in UniFirst by 95.8% during the 4th quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 836 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $120,000 after purchasing an additional 409 shares during the last quarter. Quantamental Technologies LLC acquired a new position in UniFirst during the 4th quarter valued at about $143,000. Finally, Laurion Capital Management LP acquired a new position in UniFirst during the 3rd quarter valued at about $251,000. 77.93% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
NYSE:UNF traded up $0.60 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $154.57. The company had a trading volume of 1,540 shares, compared to its average volume of 150,236. UniFirst Corp has a 52-week low of $132.38 and a 52-week high of $193.05. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.94 billion, a PE ratio of 20.78 and a beta of 0.68.
UniFirst (NYSE:UNF) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, March 27th. The textile maker reported $1.67 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.52 by $0.15. The firm had revenue of $437.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $434.90 million. UniFirst had a net margin of 8.73% and a return on equity of 8.89%. The company’s revenue was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.38 EPS. Equities analysts predict that UniFirst Corp will post 6.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 28th. Investors of record on Friday, June 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.1125 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 6th. This represents a $0.45 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.29%. UniFirst’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 6.04%.
UniFirst announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, January 3rd that permits the company to buyback $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the textile maker to repurchase up to 3.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
Several research firms have commented on UNF. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of UniFirst from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $173.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Saturday, March 30th. Robert W. Baird reduced their price target on shares of UniFirst from $170.00 to $152.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, January 4th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of UniFirst from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, January 4th.
In other news, VP Michael A. Croatti sold 323 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $135.10, for a total value of $43,637.30. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 5,650 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $763,315. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder The Ronald D. Croatti Trust – 1 sold 5,584 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $141.19, for a total transaction of $788,404.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 22,036 shares of company stock valued at $3,217,188. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
UniFirst Corporation provides workplace uniforms and protective work wear clothing in the United States, Europe, and Canada. The company operates through U.S. Rental and Cleaning, 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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