National Fuel Gas Co. (NFG) Rating Increased to Buy at Jefferies Group
Jefferies Group upgraded shares of National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Thursday morning. Jefferies Group currently has $67.00 price target on the stock, up from their prior price target of $60.00.
A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on NFG. Zacks Investment Research raised National Fuel Gas from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $63.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, July 5th. Barclays PLC lifted their price objective on National Fuel Gas from $47.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 10th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $61.83.
Shares of National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) opened at 52.93 on Thursday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $55.32 and its 200-day moving average price is $55.13. The stock’s market capitalization is $4.50 billion. National Fuel Gas has a 1-year low of $37.03 and a 1-year high of $59.62.
National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) last released its earnings results on Friday, August 5th. The company reported $0.68 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ 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. National Fuel Gas had a positive return on equity of 13.87% and a negative net margin of 35.33%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.55 EPS. Equities research analysts anticipate that National Fuel Gas will post $2.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 30th were paid a $0.405 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, September 28th. This represents a $1.62 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.06%. National Fuel Gas’s dividend payout ratio is presently -26.60%.
In other news, COO John R. Pustulka sold 12,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.58, for a total value of $702,960.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 65,077 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,812,210.66. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director David F. Smith sold 48,983 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.64, for a total value of $2,774,397.12. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 214,507 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,149,676.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.25% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. purchased a new stake in shares of National Fuel Gas during the first quarter valued at approximately $130,000. Glenmede Trust Co. NA increased its stake in shares of National Fuel Gas by 4.5% in the second quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 2,788 shares of the company’s stock valued at $157,000 after buying an additional 120 shares in the last quarter. Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Co. purchased a new stake in shares of National Fuel Gas during the second quarter valued at approximately $205,000. Peapack Gladstone Financial Corp purchased a new stake in shares of National Fuel Gas during the second quarter valued at approximately $213,000. Finally, Oakbrook Investments LLC purchased a new stake in shares of National Fuel Gas during the second quarter valued at approximately $244,000. Institutional investors own 62.41% of the company’s stock.
National Fuel Gas Company Profile
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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