Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) Cut to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is a utility company engaged in natural gas distribution and transmission, propane distribution and marketing, advanced information services and other related businesses.Chesapeake’s three natural gas distribution divisions serve residential, commercial and industrial customers in southern Delaware, Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Florida. The Company’s natural gas transmission subsidiary operates an interstate pipeline system that transports gas from various points in Pennsylvania to Delaware and Maryland distribution divisions. “

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Maxim Group set a $7.00 price target on shares of Eagle Bulk Shipping and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 8th. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a buy rating on shares of Allergan in a research report on Monday, June 10th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $97.31.

CPK opened at $92.68 on Friday. Chesapeake Utilities has a 52-week low of $77.20 and a 52-week high of $96.27. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55, a current ratio of 0.30 and a quick ratio of 0.27. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.52 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.00, a P/E/G ratio of 3.58 and a beta of 0.27. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $93.50.

Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 8th. The utilities provider reported $1.68 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.60 by $0.08. Chesapeake Utilities had a net margin of 8.27% and a return on equity of 11.41%. The business had revenue of $227.62 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $271.10 million. As a group, analysts forecast that Chesapeake Utilities will post 3.71 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 14th were given a dividend of $0.405 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 13th. This represents a $1.62 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.75%. This is an increase from Chesapeake Utilities’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. Chesapeake Utilities’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 48.94%.

In other news, insider John R. Schimkaitis sold 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.20, for a total transaction of $235,500.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. 4.18% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CPK. Fruth Investment Management raised its position in Chesapeake Utilities by 0.8% in the second quarter. Fruth Investment Management now owns 23,714 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,253,000 after acquiring an additional 188 shares in the last quarter. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC increased its stake in Chesapeake Utilities by 45.6% in the 2nd quarter. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC now owns 4,109 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $390,000 after purchasing an additional 1,286 shares in the last quarter. Supplemental Annuity Collective Trust of NJ purchased a new position in Chesapeake Utilities in the 2nd quarter worth about $475,000. Cox Capital Mgt LLC increased its stake in Chesapeake Utilities by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. Cox Capital Mgt LLC now owns 11,136 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,058,000 after purchasing an additional 182 shares in the last quarter. Finally, GYL Financial Synergies LLC purchased a new position in Chesapeake Utilities in the 1st quarter worth about $1,313,000. 65.12% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Chesapeake Utilities

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, a diversified energy company, engages in regulated and unregulated energy businesses. The company operates in two segments, Regulated Energy and Unregulated Energy. The Regulated Energy segment engages in the distribution of natural gas in Delaware, Maryland, and Florida; distribution of electricity in Florida; and transmission of natural gas on the Delmarva Peninsula and in Florida.

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