An analyst sees good growth prospects for Uniti Group Inc. (UNIT)

Uniti Group Inc. (NASDAQ: UNIT) stock fell -3.53% on Friday to $9.85 against a previous-day closing price of $10.21. With 1.4 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained lighter than its average volume of 1.62 million shares. During the session, the REIT – Specialty company that operates in wider Real Estate sector, reached to the highest price of $10.44 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $9.75. The 52-week range on UNIT shows that it touched its highest point at $14.60 and its lowest point at $9.10 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $13.35. With its current market cap of 2.31 billion, UNIT has annualized dividend of $0.60 while the current yield stands at 6.09%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 1.09.

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Price Performance and Earnings:

Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of UNIT was down-trending over the past week, with a drop of -1.79%, but this was up by 5.12% over a month. Three-month performance dropped to -21.01% while six-month performance fell -16.74%. The stock lost -18.19% in the past year, while it has lost -29.69% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for UNIT yields 0.67 with Next year EPS estimates of 0.77. For the next quarter, that number is 0.18. This implies an EPS growth rate of 113.40% for this year and 2.95% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 34.00% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 71.60%.

Float and Shares Shorts:

At present, 235.05 million UNIT shares are outstanding with a float of 230.25 million shares on hand for trading. On Jul 14, 2022, short shares totaled 12.2 million, which was 5.15% higher than short shares on Jun 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. Kenneth A. Gunderman as the firm’s Pres, CEO & Director, Mr. Paul Bullington serves as its Sr. VP, CFO & Treasurer.

Institutional Ownership:

Through their ownership of 86.28% of UNIT’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 45.69% of UNIT, in contrast to 41.68% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 0.98%. As the largest shareholder in UNIT with 15.98% of the stake, The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds 37,878,048 shares worth 37,878,048. A second-largest stockholder of UNIT, BlackRock Fund Advisors, holds 32,932,303 shares, controlling over 13.89% of the firm’s shares. Elliott Investment Management LP is the third largest shareholder in UNIT, holding 20,475,739 shares or 8.64% stake. With a 7.05% stake in UNIT, the iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF is the largest stakeholder. A total of 16,721,274 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund, which owns about 4.58% of UNIT stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 10,858,775 shares valued at 102.29 million. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index holds 2.93% of the stake in UNIT, owning 6,953,160 shares worth 65.5 million.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for UNIT since 10 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 2 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 1 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 7 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 0 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With UNIT analysts setting a high price target of $16.00 and a low target of $10.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $13.17. Based on these targets, UNIT could surge 62.44% to reach the target high and rise by 1.52% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 33.71% from current levels.

EPS: Estimates vs Actual

It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. UNIT will report FY 2022 earnings on 02/24/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $0.77 being high and $0.71 being low. For UNIT, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $0.74. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. Uniti Group Inc. surprised analysts by $0.03 when it reported $0.21 EPS against a consensus estimate of $0.18. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.03. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $0.19 and the low estimate is $0.15. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $0.18.

Dividends & Yield:

In terms of dividends, UNIT has a current ratio of $0.6, which is $0.6 over the trailing 12-months, while a dividend of $1.29 is likely to be paid on average over the next five years. Dividend yield is another indicator that appeals to many investors, and UNIT currently yields $6.09. In the past year, UNIT’s dividend yield has been $6.09, but when looking at the stock over the past five years, its yield has been $9.68. Accordingly, UNIT has a current buyback yield of $0.0. This was $0.0 for the TTM.

Summary of Insider Activity:

Insiders traded UNIT stock several times over the past three months with 2 Buys and 0 Sells. In these transactions, 2,058 shares were bought while 0 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 15 while that of sell transactions has risen to 18 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 603,006 while 228,625 shares were sold.

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