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

Several research firms have recently commented on NFG. Argus reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of National Fuel Gas in a research note on Thursday, June 9th. Jefferies Group boosted their target price 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 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, July 5th. Finally, Barclays PLC boosted their target price 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 currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $60.67.

The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $56.43 and a 200 day moving average price of $52.74. The stock’s market capitalization is $4.94 billion.

National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) last posted its earnings results on Friday, August 5th. The company reported $0.68 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.03. The company earned $335.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $384.26 million. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.55 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that National Fuel Gas Co. will post $2.95 EPS for the current year.

In related news, SVP Paula M. Ciprich sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on 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 of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,662,295.05. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors have modified their holdings of NFG. Morgan Stanley increased its position in shares of National Fuel Gas by 15.5% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 308,789 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,200,000 after buying an additional 41,516 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in shares of 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 last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can increased its position in shares of 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 last quarter. Finally, Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. acquired a new position in shares of National Fuel Gas during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,231,000.

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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