National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG)’s share price hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $58.18 and last traded at $58.10, with a volume of 105,731 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $57.49.

Several research firms have weighed in on NFG. Argus restated a “hold” rating on shares of National Fuel Gas in a research report on Thursday, June 9th. Jefferies Group raised their price objective on shares of National Fuel Gas from $59.00 to $60.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of National Fuel Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, July 5th. Finally, Barclays PLC raised their price objective on shares of National Fuel Gas from $47.00 to $61.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 10th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $60.67.

The company has a 50 day moving average of $56.29 and a 200 day moving average of $52.61. The firm’s market capitalization is $4.95 billion.

National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 5th. The company reported $0.68 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.65 by $0.03. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.55 EPS. The business earned $335.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $384.26 million. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that National Fuel Gas Co. will post $2.93 earnings per share for the current year.

In other National Fuel Gas news, SVP Paula M. Ciprich sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.05, for a total transaction of $840,750.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 83,181 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,662,295.05. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link.

Other large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. New York State Common Retirement Fund raised its stake in National Fuel Gas by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 196,200 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,388,000 after buying an additional 2,500 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in National Fuel Gas by 983.9% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 32,972 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,410,000 after buying an additional 29,930 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in National Fuel Gas by 3.9% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 269,355 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,515,000 after buying an additional 10,133 shares during the period. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. purchased a new stake in National Fuel Gas during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,231,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in National Fuel Gas by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,046,654 shares of the company’s stock valued at $258,494,000 after buying an additional 105,824 shares during the period.

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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