Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “SOUTHWEST GAS CORP. is principally engaged in the business of purchasing, transporting, and distributing natural gas in portions of Arizona, Nevada, and California. The Company also engaged in financial services activities, through PriMerit Bank, Federal Savings Bank (PriMerit or the Bank), a wholly owned subsidiary. “

Several other research firms have also commented on SWX. Jefferies Group lowered shares of Southwest Gas Corp. from a hold rating to an underperform rating and set a $64.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, July 25th. Citigroup Inc. increased their target price on shares of Southwest Gas Corp. from $62.00 to $79.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Finally, Argus reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Southwest Gas Corp. in a report on Thursday, September 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have assigned a hold rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $71.25.

Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) opened at 73.89 on Tuesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $71.62 and its 200 day moving average is $70.53. Southwest Gas Corp. has a one year low of $50.53 and a one year high of $79.58. The firm has a market cap of $3.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.13 and a beta of 0.52.

Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) last released its earnings results on Monday, August 8th. The company reported $0.19 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.18 by $0.01. Southwest Gas Corp. had a net margin of 5.90% and a return on equity of 9.07%. The company had revenue of $547.70 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $559.21 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.13 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Southwest Gas Corp. will post $3.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, SVP Eric Debonis sold 600 shares of Southwest Gas Corp. stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.99, for a total transaction of $43,794.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 19,694 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,437,465.06. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 1.34% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in SWX. US Bancorp DE raised its stake in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 0.6% in the second quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 6,103 shares of the company’s stock worth $480,000 after buying an additional 36 shares during the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 0.5% in the second quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 9,750 shares of the company’s stock worth $767,000 after buying an additional 50 shares during the last quarter. Barclays PLC raised its stake in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 0.5% in the first quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 28,003 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,820,000 after buying an additional 134 shares during the last quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 2.7% in the second quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 7,871 shares of the company’s stock worth $620,000 after buying an additional 207 shares during the last quarter. Finally, PineBridge Investments L.P. raised its stake in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 3.8% in the second quarter. PineBridge Investments L.P. now owns 6,020 shares of the company’s stock worth $473,000 after buying an additional 221 shares during the last quarter. 80.16% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Southwest Gas Corp. Company Profile

Southwest Gas Corporation is engaged in the business of purchasing, distributing and transporting natural gas in Arizona, Nevada and California. The Company operates through two segments: natural gas operations and construction services, which includes the operations of the Company’s subsidiary, Centuri Construction Group, Inc, (Centuri).

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