Universal (NYSE:UVV) Downgraded by StockNews.com to “Hold”

StockNews.com downgraded shares of Universal (NYSE:UVVFree Report) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Saturday.

Separately, TheStreet raised Universal from a c+ rating to a b rating in a report on Monday, November 6th.

Read Our Latest Research Report on Universal

Universal Stock Performance

Shares of UVV opened at $51.97 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42, a quick ratio of 1.07 and a current ratio of 3.22. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $61.10 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $53.05. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.28 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.79 and a beta of 0.83. Universal has a 52 week low of $44.40 and a 52 week high of $67.80.

Universal Dividend Announcement

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, April 8th will be issued a dividend of $0.80 per share. This represents a $3.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.16%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, April 5th. Universal’s dividend payout ratio is currently 60.26%.

Insider Transactions at Universal

In other news, Director Robert C. Sledd sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.74, for a total value of $107,480.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 15,080 shares in the company, valued at approximately $810,399.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. In other news, Director Robert C. Sledd sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.74, for a total value of $107,480.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 15,080 shares in the company, valued at approximately $810,399.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, VP Candace C. Formacek sold 3,767 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.94, for a total value of $206,958.98. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 26,975 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,482,006.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 3.10% of the company’s stock.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Universal

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Universal by 0.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,957,625 shares of the company’s stock valued at $229,820,000 after purchasing an additional 35,047 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Universal by 1.0% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,907,688 shares of the company’s stock valued at $133,869,000 after purchasing an additional 28,806 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in Universal by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,906,609 shares of the company’s stock valued at $128,353,000 after purchasing an additional 10,875 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its stake in Universal by 0.5% in the third quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,521,449 shares of the company’s stock valued at $70,048,000 after purchasing an additional 7,077 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Invesco Ltd. lifted its stake in Universal by 21.7% in the third quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 1,139,598 shares of the company’s stock valued at $53,800,000 after purchasing an additional 203,514 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.72% of the company’s stock.

About Universal

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Universal Corporation processes and supplies leaf tobacco and plant-based ingredients worldwide. The company operates through two segments, Tobacco Operations; and Ingredients Operations. It is involved in the procuring, financing, processing, packing, storing, and shipping leaf tobacco for sale to manufacturers of consumer tobacco products.

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