Unitil Co. (NYSE:UTL)‘s stock had its “hold” rating restated by investment analysts at Royal Bank of Canada in a research note issued on Friday. They currently have a $44.00 target price on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada’s target price points to a potential downside of 0.25% from the stock’s previous close.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research cut Unitil from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 27th.

Shares of Unitil (NYSE:UTL) opened at 44.11 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $620.45 million, a PE ratio of 22.78 and a beta of 0.17. Unitil has a 52 week low of $35.37 and a 52 week high of $46.98. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $44.62 and a 200-day moving average price of $42.57.

Unitil (NYSE:UTL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.01. Unitil had a return on equity of 9.36% and a net margin of 7.10%. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.67 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Unitil will post $2.05 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, February 28th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 14th were issued a dividend of $0.36 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 10th. This is a boost from Unitil’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.26%. Unitil’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 74.23%.

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A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of UTL. Schroder Investment Management Group boosted its stake in Unitil by 9.7% in the third quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 3,821 shares of the company’s stock worth $149,000 after buying an additional 338 shares in the last quarter. Strs Ohio boosted its stake in Unitil by 96.7% in the third quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 5,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $230,000 after buying an additional 2,900 shares in the last quarter. Mesirow Financial Investment Management Equity Management boosted its stake in Unitil by 43.4% in the third quarter. Mesirow Financial Investment Management Equity Management now owns 7,385 shares of the company’s stock worth $289,000 after buying an additional 2,236 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP boosted its stake in Unitil by 11.4% in the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 7,684 shares of the company’s stock worth $300,000 after buying an additional 784 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sei Investments Co. boosted its stake in Unitil by 28.6% in the third quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 10,010 shares of the company’s stock worth $391,000 after buying an additional 2,229 shares in the last quarter. 59.95% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Unitil

Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company. The Company’s principal business is the local distribution of electricity in the southeastern seacoast and state capital regions of New Hampshire and the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts and the local distribution of natural gas in southeastern New Hampshire, portions of southern Maine to the Lewiston-Auburn area and in the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts.

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