Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. is an energy holding company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. owns two primary operating companies, Southwest Gas Corporation and Centuri Construction Group, Inc. Southwest Gas Corporation is a regulated utility and provides natural gas service to more than 1.9 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers in most of Arizona and Nevada, and parts of northeastern and southeastern California. Centuri Construction Group, Inc., is a full-service underground piping contractor that primarily provides utility companies with trenching and installation, replacement, and maintenance services for energy distribution systems, and develops industrial construction solutions. Centuri Construction Group Inc. operates in major markets across the United States and Canada. “

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on SWX. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Southwest Gas Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Jefferies Group LLC raised shares of Southwest Gas Corporation from an “underperform” rating to a “hold” rating and increased their target price for the company from $68.00 to $70.00 in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and five have assigned a hold rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $80.50.

Shares of Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX) opened at 80.25 on Wednesday. Southwest Gas Corporation has a 52 week low of $64.26 and a 52 week high of $86.65. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.82 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.85 and a beta of 0.60. The company has a 50-day moving average of $78.33 and a 200 day moving average of $80.72.

Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, August 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.28 by $0.09. Southwest Gas Corporation had a net margin of 6.46% and a return on equity of 9.09%. The business had revenue of $560.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $564.84 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.19 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 2.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Southwest Gas Corporation will post $3.41 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, VP Kenneth J. Kenny sold 600 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.90, for a total transaction of $48,540.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 17,137 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,386,383.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Karen S. Haller sold 1,300 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.95, for a total transaction of $105,235.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 26,639 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,156,427.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.34% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. State Treasurer State of Michigan increased its position in Southwest Gas Corporation by 1.0% in the first quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan now owns 19,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,600,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can increased its position in Southwest Gas Corporation by 3.9% in the first quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 27,975 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,319,000 after buying an additional 1,053 shares in the last quarter. Bowling Portfolio Management LLC increased its position in Southwest Gas Corporation by 5.5% in the first quarter. Bowling Portfolio Management LLC now owns 9,456 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $784,000 after buying an additional 495 shares in the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board bought a new position in Southwest Gas Corporation during the first quarter worth $5,273,000. Finally, Adams Diversified Equity Fund Inc. increased its position in Southwest Gas Corporation by 2.8% in the first quarter. Adams Diversified Equity Fund Inc. now owns 14,700 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,219,000 after buying an additional 400 shares in the last quarter. 78.63% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Southwest Gas Corporation Company Profile

Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc, formerly Southwest Gas Corporation, is engaged in the business of purchasing, distributing and transporting natural gas. 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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