Unifirst CEO: President and CEO of Unifirst Corp (NYSE:UNF) purchased 8,242 shares of common stock on Wednesday, at a price of $91 each. This acquisition required an investment of $750,022 and brought Ronald Croatti’s holdings up to 1,033,770 shares. Unifirst is now trading at 18.7 times its trailing earnings, meaning the stock is still available at a 29% price discount to the industry average. The stock has a dividend yield of 0.15% and is valued at $103.32 per share (as of Wednesday, Oct. 2, 3 pm EDT), which is just shy of its 52-week high of $104.76 per share. Croatti was able to purchase the shares at a discount price of $91 each, since he is also a 10% owner of the issuer, The Red Cat Limited Partnership.
According to our records, this is the first acquisition of Unifirst made by Ronald Croatti. Hedge funds however, have been more active, as 15 of them are currently company shareholders. Royce & Associates is the largest, with 1,777,703 shares or approximately $162,215,000 worth of stock, amounting to 0.5% of its portfolio. First Eagle Investment Management , which is run by Jean-Marie Eveillard, is the second largest and holds 751,089 shares of common stock, making up for 0.2% of its portfolio. Both hedge funds, as well as CEO Croatti, were happy to see their stock climb by 0.30% following the insider purchase (as of Wednesday, Oct. 2, 3:26 pm EDT).
Unifirst is set to announce its fourth quarter results on October 23rd, before the market opens. The stock has been experiencing a strong upwards trend over the past year, which leads to believe the company will present strong results. The firm currently has an operating margin of 12%, which is far above the industry average of 4.7%. With analysts estimating an annual EPS growth of 6.7%, Croatti’s recent purchase seems to make sense.
Disclosure: Pablo Erbar holds no position in any stocks mentioned