Southwest Gas Corp. (SWX) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research
Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Saturday.
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. “
A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on SWX. Jefferies Group downgraded Southwest Gas Corp. from a “hold” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $64.00 price target for the company. in a report on Monday, July 25th. Citigroup Inc. upped their target price on Southwest Gas Corp. from $62.00 to $79.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. Finally, Argus reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas Corp. in a research note on Thursday, September 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have given a hold rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $71.25.
Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) opened at 69.86 on Friday. Southwest Gas Corp. has a 52 week low of $50.53 and a 52 week high of $79.58. The company has a 50-day moving average of $71.11 and a 200-day moving average of $70.88. The firm has a market cap of $3.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.82 and a beta of 0.52.
Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, August 8th. The company reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.18 by $0.01. Southwest Gas Corp. had a return on equity of 9.07% and a net margin of 5.90%. The company earned $547.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $559.21 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.13 earnings per share. Southwest Gas Corp.’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Southwest Gas Corp. will post $3.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 15th will be given a dividend of $0.45 per share. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.58%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 10th. Southwest Gas Corp.’s payout ratio is 59.02%.
In related news, SVP Eric Debonis sold 600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.99, for a total transaction of $43,794.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 19,694 shares in the company, valued at $1,437,465.06. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Roy R. Centrella sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.54, for a total value of $71,540.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 31,618 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,261,951.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.34% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of SWX. BlackRock Group LTD boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 7.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 100,078 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,590,000 after buying an additional 7,080 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 4.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 1,233,773 shares of the company’s stock valued at $81,244,000 after buying an additional 47,840 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 13.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 44,329 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,920,000 after buying an additional 5,304 shares during the last quarter. Calvert Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 2.6% in the second quarter. Calvert Investment Management Inc. now owns 10,601 shares of the company’s stock valued at $834,000 after buying an additional 271 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Aperio Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 17.4% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 11,631 shares of the company’s stock valued at $766,000 after buying an additional 1,728 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.16% of the company’s stock.
About Southwest Gas Corp.
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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