BidaskClub upgraded shares of National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE:NFG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday.

NFG has been the subject of several other reports. ValuEngine lowered National Fuel Gas Company from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Scotiabank set a $62.00 price objective on National Fuel Gas Company and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, March 25th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC lowered National Fuel Gas Company from a buy rating to an underperform rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $66.00 to $52.00 in a research note on Monday, April 10th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. National Fuel Gas Company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $59.00.

National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE NFG) traded down 1.06% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $57.69. 159,267 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. National Fuel Gas Company has a 12 month low of $50.61 and a 12 month high of $61.25. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $56.44 and its 200 day moving average price is $57.63. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.93 billion, a PE ratio of 22.09 and a beta of 1.00.

National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE:NFG) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, May 4th. The oil and gas producer reported $1.04 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.05 by $0.01. National Fuel Gas Company had a net margin of 14.24% and a return on equity of 18.67%. The firm had revenue of $522.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $514.43 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.97 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that National Fuel Gas Company will post $3.26 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 30th will be issued a dividend of $0.415 per share. This represents a $1.66 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.85%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, June 28th. This is a boost from National Fuel Gas Company’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. National Fuel Gas Company’s dividend payout ratio is presently 61.83%.

In other news, SVP Paula M. Ciprich sold 7,604 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, March 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.97, for a total transaction of $456,011.88. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 65,922 shares in the company, valued at $3,953,342.34. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 2.57% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of NFG. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in National Fuel Gas Company by 4,550.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,105,090 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $423,608,000 after buying an additional 6,952,310 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its position in National Fuel Gas Company by 487.6% in the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,000,873 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $59,672,000 after buying an additional 830,547 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in National Fuel Gas Company by 10.2% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 8,005,822 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $477,307,000 after buying an additional 742,945 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new position in National Fuel Gas Company during the fourth quarter valued at about $34,198,000. Finally, State Street Corp boosted its position in National Fuel Gas Company by 11.2% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 5,740,111 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $342,227,000 after buying an additional 575,876 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.40% of the company’s stock.

About National Fuel Gas Company

National Fuel Gas Company is a holding company. The Company is an energy company engaged principally in the production, gathering, transportation, distribution and marketing of natural gas. The Company operates in five business segments: Exploration and Production, Pipeline and Storage, Gathering, Utility, and Energy Marketing.

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