UniFirst Q4 Net Income Rises

UniFirst Corporation (UNF) said its fourth-quarter operating income rose 10.1% year-on-year. Consolidated revenues were up 8.5% with revenue from Core Laundry Operations increasing 7.9%. Core Laundry Operations operating margin increased to 10.1% from 9.9%. The company noted that, during the quarter, its margins were pressured by the current inflationary environment as well as a rebound of certain costs that trended lower during the pandemic.

Fourth quarter earnings per share increased to $1.82 from $1.66, prior year. On average, five analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $1.84, for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items. Net income was $34.6 million, up 9.7%.

Consolidated revenues increased 8.5% to $465.3 million. Analysts expected revenue of $455.11 million, for the quarter.

For fiscal 2022, the company expects revenues to be between $1.920 billion and $1.945 billion and earnings per share to be between $5.70 and $6.10. The company’s guidance, at the midpoint, assumes an operating margin in Core Laundry Operations of 7.3%. Excluding initiative costs, Core Laundry Operations adjusted operating margin assumption would be 9.5%, the company said.

UniFirst said its Board approved a quarterly dividend of $0.30 per share on common stock and $0.24 per share on class B common stock. This represents a 20.0% increase over the previous quarterly dividend. Both dividends are payable on January 4, 2022, to shareholders of record on December 7, 2021.

UniFirst also announced that its Board authorized a new share repurchase program allowing the company to repurchase up to $100 million of its outstanding common shares, inclusive of the amount which remained available under the existing share repurchase program approved in January 2019.

The company had no long-term debt outstanding as of August 28, 2021.

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