Shares of National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG) traded down 2.6% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The stock traded as low as $55.10 and last traded at $55.29, with a volume of 268,045 shares. The stock had previously closed at $56.77.

Several analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised National Fuel Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday. Argus reissued a “hold” rating on shares of National Fuel Gas in a research note on Thursday, June 9th. Jefferies Group cut National Fuel Gas from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $56.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Monday, April 18th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, TheStreet raised National Fuel Gas from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 12th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $57.67.

The stock’s 50-day moving average is $55.54 and its 200-day moving average is $49.93. The firm’s market capitalization is $4.75 billion.

National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) last announced its earnings results on Friday, April 29th. The company reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $449.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $624.02 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.02 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 24.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that National Fuel Gas Co. will post $2.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 30th will be paid a $0.405 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, June 28th. This represents a $1.62 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.90%. This is an increase from National Fuel Gas’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40.

In other National Fuel Gas news, SVP Paula M. Ciprich sold 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.05, for a total value of $840,750.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 83,181 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,662,295.05. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink.

A number of institutional investors recently modified their holdings of NFG. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS increased its position in shares of National Fuel Gas by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 24,538 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,049,000 after buying an additional 124 shares in the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its position in shares of National Fuel Gas by 1.2% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 32,707 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,398,000 after buying an additional 400 shares in the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its position in shares of National Fuel Gas by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 189,612 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,106,000 after buying an additional 785 shares in the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers increased its position in shares of National Fuel Gas by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 126,812 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,421,000 after buying an additional 1,095 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Comerica Bank increased its position in shares of National Fuel Gas by 3.0% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 70,229 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,965,000 after buying an additional 2,045 shares in the last quarter.

National Fuel Gas Company is a holding company. The Company is an energy company engaged in the production, gathering, transportation, distribution and marketing of natural gas. The Company operates through five segments: Exploration and Production, including operations carried out through its subsidiary, Seneca Resources Corporation; Pipeline and Storage, including operations carried out through its subsidiaries, National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation and Empire Pipeline, Inc; Gathering, including operations carried out through subsidiaries of National Fuel Gas Midstream Corporation; Utility, including operations are carried out by through its subsidiary, Distribution Corporation, and Energy Marketing, including operations carried out through its subsidiary, National Fuel Resources, Inc The Company operates an integrated business, with assets centered in western New York and Pennsylvania.

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