Chesapeake Utilities Co. (CPK) Expected to Post Earnings of $1.60 Per Share

Analysts predict that Chesapeake Utilities Co. (NYSE:CPK) will report $1.60 earnings per share (EPS) for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Two analysts have made estimates for Chesapeake Utilities’ earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $1.55 and the highest is $1.68. Chesapeake Utilities reported earnings of $1.40 per share in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year over year growth rate of 14.3%. The firm is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings report on Tuesday, May 14th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Chesapeake Utilities will report full-year earnings of $3.67 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.62 to $3.72. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect that the firm will report earnings of $3.91 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.84 to $3.95. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for Chesapeake Utilities.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on CPK. Janney Montgomery Scott downgraded shares of Chesapeake Utilities from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $92.24 target price on the stock. in a research note on Monday, December 17th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Wells Fargo & Co raised their target price on shares of Chesapeake Utilities from $84.00 to $90.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, March 4th. Maxim Group set a $100.00 target price on shares of Chesapeake Utilities and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 18th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Chesapeake Utilities from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, January 14th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Chesapeake Utilities currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $93.31.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of CPK. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Chesapeake Utilities by 29.2% during the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,544,049 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $129,545,000 after buying an additional 348,733 shares during the period. BTIM Corp. purchased a new stake in Chesapeake Utilities during the 4th quarter worth $12,969,000. Millennium Management LLC increased its stake in Chesapeake Utilities by 517.8% during the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 66,381 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $5,397,000 after buying an additional 55,637 shares during the period. FMR LLC purchased a new stake in Chesapeake Utilities during the 3rd quarter worth $4,502,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc increased its stake in Chesapeake Utilities by 3.8% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 929,001 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $77,943,000 after buying an additional 34,124 shares during the period. 64.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of CPK stock opened at $92.36 on Tuesday. Chesapeake Utilities has a 52 week low of $67.10 and a 52 week high of $94.87. The company has a current ratio of 0.36, a quick ratio of 0.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.51 billion, a PE ratio of 27.90, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.26 and a beta of 0.26.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be paid a $0.37 dividend. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.60%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 14th. Chesapeake Utilities’s dividend payout ratio is presently 44.71%.

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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