Active Mover: Unitil Corporation (NYSE: UTL)

HAMPTON, N.H., July 18, 2019 – Shares of Unitil Corporation (NYSE: UTL) gained 0.17% to $59.12. The stock grabbed the investor’s attention and traded 28.165K shares as compared to its average daily volume of 55.52K shares. The stock’s institutional ownership stands at 68.60%.

Unitil Corp. (UTL) recently reported net Income of $26.50M, or $1.78 per share, for the first quarter of 2019, a boost of $10.90M in Net Income, and $0.72 in Earnings Per Share, (“EPS”) contrast to the first quarter of 2018. In the first quarter of 2019; the Company recognized a one-time net gain of $9.80M, or $0.66 in EPS, on the Company’s divestiture of its non-regulated business partner, Usource. In addition, the Company’s earnings in the first quarter of 2019 were driven by higher natural gas and electric sales margins, partially offset by higher utility operating expenses. Earnings for the Company’s utility operations were Net Income of $16.70M, or $1.12 per share, for the first quarter of 2019, a boost of $1.10M in Net Income, and $0.06 in Earnings per Share, (“EPS”) contrast to the first quarter of 2018.

Natural gas sales margins were $43.50M in the three months ended March 31, 2019, a boost of $3.60M contrast to the same period in 2018. Gas sales margins in the first quarter of 2019 were positively affected by higher natural gas distribution rates of $2.60M and $1.00M from higher therm sales, reflecting customer growth.

Electric sales margins were $23.10M in the three months ended March 31, 2019, a boost of $0.80M contrast to the same period in 2018. Electric sales margins in the first quarter of 2019 were positively affected by higher electric distribution rates of $1.20M, partially offset by lower sales margin of $0.40M reflecting lower kWh sales.

Operation and Maintenance (O&M) expenses increased $1.20M in the three months ended March 31, 2019 contrast to the same period in 2018. Excluding a non-recurring adjustment to decrease O&M expenses by $0.40M in the first quarter of 2018 in connection with a then ongoing base rate case for the Company’s New Hampshire natural gas utility; O&M expenses increased $0.80M. The change in O&M expenses reflects higher labor costs of $0.40M and higher utility operating costs of $0.40M.

Depreciation and Amortization expense increased $1.50M in the three months ended March 31, 2019 contrast to the same period in 2018, reflecting higher utility plant in service partially offset by lower amortization of deferred major storm costs, which were amortized for recovery over multi-year periods.

Taxes Other Than Income Taxes increased $0.60M in the three months ended March 31, 2019 contrast to the same period in 2018, mainly reflecting higher local property tax rates on higher levels of utility plant assets in service.

Other (Income) Expense, Net changed from an expense of $1.70M in the first quarter of 2018 to income of $12.10M in the first quarter of 2019, a net change of $13.80M.  This change reflects a pre-tax gain of $13.40M on the Company’s divestiture of its non-regulated business partner, Usource.

Interest Expense, Net increased $0.20M in the three months ended March 31, 2019 contrast to the same period in 2018, mainly reflecting higher short-term interest rates on higher levels of short-term debt, partially offset by lower interest on long-term debt.

Federal and State Income Taxes increased $3.40M for the three months ended March 31, 2019 contrast to the same period in 2018, mainly reflecting income taxes related to the Company’s divestiture of its non-regulated business partner, Usource.

UTL has a market value of $882.35M while its EPS was booked as $2.95 in the last 12 months. The stock has 14.95M shares outstanding. In the profitability analysis, the company has gross profit margin of 48.30% while net profit margin was 9.70%. Beta value of the company was 0.11; beta is used to measure riskiness of the security. Analyst recommendation for this stock stands at 3.30.

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