National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG) shares hit a new 52-week high during trading on Friday . The company traded as high as $58.91 and last traded at $57.29, with a volume of 172,646 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $58.09.

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

The stock has a 50-day moving average of $56.68 and a 200-day moving average of $53.18. The company’s market capitalization is $4.87 billion.

National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) last issued its earnings results on Friday, August 5th. The company reported $0.68 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $335.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $384.26 million. The business’s revenue was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.55 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that National Fuel Gas Co. will post $2.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, SVP Paula M. Ciprich sold 15,000 shares of National Fuel Gas 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 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 filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors have modified their holdings of the company. 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 in 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 in the last quarter. Finally, 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 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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