Chesapeake Utilities Co. (NYSE:CPK) Sees Significant Increase in Short Interest

Chesapeake Utilities Co. (NYSE:CPKGet Free Report) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest in May. As of May 31st, there was short interest totalling 362,100 shares, an increase of 6.6% from the May 15th total of 339,800 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 95,800 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.8 days.

Analyst Ratings Changes

A number of analysts have weighed in on CPK shares. Barclays started coverage on shares of Chesapeake Utilities in a report on Thursday, May 30th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $111.00 price objective on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada raised their price objective on shares of Chesapeake Utilities from $123.00 to $124.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, March 1st. Wells Fargo & Company raised their price objective on shares of Chesapeake Utilities from $105.00 to $115.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, May 10th. Finally, StockNews.com cut shares of Chesapeake Utilities from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, February 29th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Chesapeake Utilities has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $109.80.

Check Out Our Latest Stock Analysis on CPK

Chesapeake Utilities Stock Performance

Shares of CPK traded down $1.18 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $103.54. 58,226 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 75,625. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.46 and a quick ratio of 0.38. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.31 billion, a PE ratio of 21.77 and a beta of 0.61. The business’s fifty day simple moving average is $107.66 and its 200-day simple moving average is $104.96. Chesapeake Utilities has a 52-week low of $83.79 and a 52-week high of $126.94.

Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPKGet Free Report) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, May 8th. The utilities provider reported $2.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.14 by ($0.04). The business had revenue of $245.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $260.16 million. Chesapeake Utilities had a return on equity of 10.17% and a net margin of 13.90%. The business’s revenue was up 12.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $2.04 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Chesapeake Utilities will post 5.41 earnings per share for the current year.

Chesapeake Utilities Increases Dividend

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 14th will be given a dividend of $0.64 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, June 14th. This is a positive change from Chesapeake Utilities’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.59. This represents a $2.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.47%. Chesapeake Utilities’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 53.78%.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Chesapeake Utilities

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in Chesapeake Utilities by 23.8% in the 4th quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,740,123 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $183,809,000 after buying an additional 334,088 shares during the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC purchased a new position in Chesapeake Utilities in the 4th quarter valued at $35,265,000. Schroder Investment Management Group grew its position in Chesapeake Utilities by 136.1% in the 4th quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 234,996 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $24,823,000 after buying an additional 135,462 shares during the last quarter. Synergy Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in Chesapeake Utilities in the 4th quarter valued at $14,227,000. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its position in Chesapeake Utilities by 61.5% in the 1st quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 275,204 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $29,529,000 after buying an additional 104,850 shares during the last quarter. 83.11% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Chesapeake Utilities

(Get Free Report)

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation operates as an energy delivery company. The company operates through two segments, Regulated Energy and Unregulated Energy. The Regulated Energy segment natural gas distribution operations in central and southern Delaware, Maryland's eastern shore, and Florida; regulated natural gas transmission in the Delmarva Peninsula, Ohio, and Florida; and regulated electric distribution in northeast and northwest Florida.

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