Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Hold” from Brokerages
Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) has earned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the five research firms that are currently covering the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have assigned a hold rating to the company. The average 1-year price objective among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $71.50.
Several equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Southwest Gas Corp. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, October 1st. Argus reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas Corp. in a research report on Thursday, September 8th. Citigroup Inc. increased their price target on Southwest Gas Corp. from $62.00 to $79.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Finally, Jefferies Group downgraded Southwest Gas Corp. from a “hold” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $64.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Monday, July 25th.
In other news, CFO Roy R. Centrella sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.54, for a total transaction of $71,540.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 31,618 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,261,951.72. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Eric Debonis sold 600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.99, for a total value of $43,794.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 19,694 shares in the company, valued at $1,437,465.06. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.34% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Southwest Gas Corp. by 134.9% in the first quarter. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. now owns 916,110 shares of the company’s stock valued at $60,326,000 after buying an additional 526,087 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its stake in Southwest Gas Corp. by 47.2% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,598,917 shares of the company’s stock valued at $125,848,000 after buying an additional 512,734 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Southwest Gas Corp. by 9.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,098,310 shares of the company’s stock valued at $322,579,000 after buying an additional 359,211 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its stake in Southwest Gas Corp. by 34.8% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,290,116 shares of the company’s stock valued at $101,545,000 after buying an additional 333,337 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its stake in Southwest Gas Corp. by 25.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 1,547,633 shares of the company’s stock valued at $121,814,000 after buying an additional 313,860 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.16% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) opened at 65.13 on Wednesday. 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 price of $70.27 and a 200-day moving average price of $70.94. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.09 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.27 and a beta of 0.54.
Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, August 8th. The company reported $0.19 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.18 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $547.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $559.21 million. Southwest Gas Corp. had a return on equity of 9.07% and a net margin of 5.90%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.13 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Southwest Gas Corp. will post $3.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, November 15th will be given a dividend of $0.45 per share. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.76%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 10th. Southwest Gas Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 59.02%.
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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