Unilever (NYSE:UL) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Unilever (NYSE:UL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $68.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Unilever plc is engaged in manufacturing of branded and packaged consumer goods, including food, detergents and personal care products. The Company also has interests in specialty chemicals. Unilever sells its products internationally. “

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. HSBC raised Unilever from a reduce rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 8th. UBS Group cut Unilever from a neutral rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, June 29th. Goldman Sachs Group reissued a buy rating on shares of Unilever in a research note on Tuesday, July 7th. DZ Bank cut Unilever from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 28th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a sell rating on shares of Unilever in a research note on Wednesday, July 8th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. Unilever presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $56.50.

Shares of UL opened at $60.48 on Wednesday. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $56.37 and its 200 day moving average price is $54.73. The stock has a market capitalization of $71.79 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.15 and a beta of 0.52. Unilever has a 1-year low of $44.06 and a 1-year high of $64.84.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 9th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.4694 per share. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 6th. This is a boost from Unilever’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.44. Unilever’s payout ratio is 61.54%.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Comerica Bank lifted its holdings in shares of Unilever by 13.7% during the 2nd quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 90,455 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,052,000 after buying an additional 10,886 shares during the last quarter. OLD Second National Bank of Aurora lifted its holdings in shares of Unilever by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter. OLD Second National Bank of Aurora now owns 37,725 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,070,000 after buying an additional 1,323 shares during the last quarter. Sigma Planning Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Unilever by 10.5% during the 2nd quarter. Sigma Planning Corp now owns 5,168 shares of the company’s stock valued at $284,000 after buying an additional 493 shares during the last quarter. Asio Capital LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Unilever by 95.2% during the 2nd quarter. Asio Capital LLC now owns 24,275 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,332,000 after buying an additional 11,840 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Moloney Securities Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Unilever by 7.2% during the 2nd quarter. Moloney Securities Asset Management LLC now owns 12,833 shares of the company’s stock valued at $704,000 after buying an additional 866 shares during the last quarter. 7.30% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Unilever

Unilever PLC operates in the fast moving consumer goods industry worldwide. It operates through Beauty & Personal Care, Foods & Refreshment, and Home Care segments. The Beauty & Personal Care segment offers skin care and hair care products, deodorants, and oral care products primarily under the Axe, Dove, Lux, Rexona, Sunsilk, TRESemmé, Signal, Lifebuoy, and Vaseline brands.

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