Great West Life Assurance Co. Can increased its stake in UniFirst Co. (NYSE:UNF – Get Rating) by 19.4% in the third quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 17,829 shares of the textile maker’s stock after purchasing an additional 2,894 shares during the quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can owned 0.10% of UniFirst worth $3,001,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Pinebridge Investments L.P. purchased a new position in shares of UniFirst in the 2nd quarter valued at about $27,000. Federated Hermes Inc. increased its holdings in UniFirst by 520.5% during the 2nd quarter. Federated Hermes Inc. now owns 242 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $42,000 after acquiring an additional 203 shares in the last quarter. Covestor Ltd increased its holdings in UniFirst by 187.4% during the 1st quarter. Covestor Ltd now owns 273 shares of the textile maker’s stock valued at $50,000 after acquiring an additional 178 shares in the last quarter. Wipfli Financial Advisors LLC purchased a new position in UniFirst during the 3rd quarter valued at about $52,000. Finally, Point72 Hong Kong Ltd purchased a new position in UniFirst during the 1st quarter valued at about $69,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.73% of the company’s stock.
Analysts Set New Price Targets
Several research firms have weighed in on UNF. Robert W. Baird raised their target price on shares of UniFirst to $225.00 in a report on Thursday, January 5th. StockNews.com upgraded shares of UniFirst from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, January 6th.
UniFirst Price Performance
UniFirst (NYSE:UNF – Get Rating) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 4th. The textile maker reported $2.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.95 by $0.26. UniFirst had a net margin of 5.04% and a return on equity of 6.91%. The company had revenue of $541.80 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $524.76 million. As a group, analysts forecast that UniFirst Co. will post 7.47 EPS for the current year.
UniFirst Announces Dividend
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 30th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 9th will be paid a dividend of $0.31 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 8th. This represents a $1.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.63%. UniFirst’s dividend payout ratio is currently 22.55%.
Insiders Place Their Bets
In other UniFirst news, EVP William Masters Ross sold 1,231 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $200.00, for a total transaction of $246,200.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 4,335 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $867,000. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. In related news, CFO Shane O’connor sold 1,233 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $180.00, for a total value of $221,940.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 3,901 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $702,180. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP William Masters Ross sold 1,231 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $200.00, for a total transaction of $246,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 4,335 shares in the company, valued at $867,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 4,031 shares of company stock valued at $750,200 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.20% of the company’s stock.
UniFirst Corp. engages in the provision of workplace uniforms and protective work wear clothing. It operates through following segments: the United States and Canadian Rental and Cleaning, Manufacturing (MFG), Specialty Garments, First Aid, and Corporate. The U.S. and Canadian Rental and Cleaning segment purchases, rents, cleans, delivers, and sells uniforms, protective clothing, and non-garment items.
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