Piedmont Natural Gas Co. (NYSE:PNY) shares saw unusually-strong trading volume on Friday . Approximately 276,380 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 11% from the previous session’s volume of 249,959 shares.The stock last traded at $59.97 and had previously closed at $59.91.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research lowered Piedmont Natural Gas from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, June 17th.

The stock has a market cap of $4.87 billion and a P/E ratio of 34.83. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $59.83 and a 200 day moving average price of $59.79.

Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE:PNY) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, June 8th. The company reported $0.79 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.85 by $0.06. The company earned $350.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $419.80 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.84 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 17.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Piedmont Natural Gas Co. will post $1.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Kevin M. Ohara sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.78, for a total transaction of $298,900.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 68,571 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,099,174.38. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Malcolm E. Everett III sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.15, for a total value of $902,250.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 51,724 shares in the company, valued at $3,111,198.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc is an energy services company. The Company’s principal business is the distribution of natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial and power generation customers in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, including customers served by municipalities, which are its wholesale customers.

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