Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) and China Natural Gas (OTCMKTS:CHNGQ) are both utilities companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, dividends, risk, valuation, institutional ownership and analyst recommendations.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Southwest Gas and China Natural Gas’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Southwest Gas $2.55 billion 1.57 $193.84 million $3.62 22.40
China Natural Gas N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Southwest Gas has higher revenue and earnings than China Natural Gas.


This table compares Southwest Gas and China Natural Gas’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Southwest Gas 7.39% 10.01% 2.95%
China Natural Gas N/A N/A N/A

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Southwest Gas and China Natural Gas, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Southwest Gas 1 3 1 0 2.00
China Natural Gas 0 0 0 0 N/A

Southwest Gas presently has a consensus price target of $78.40, indicating a potential downside of 3.32%. Given Southwest Gas’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Southwest Gas is more favorable than China Natural Gas.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

82.5% of Southwest Gas shares are held by institutional investors. 1.0% of Southwest Gas shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 20.8% of China Natural Gas shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Risk and Volatility

Southwest Gas has a beta of 0.4, suggesting that its share price is 60% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, China Natural Gas has a beta of 2.96, suggesting that its share price is 196% more volatile than the S&P 500.


Southwest Gas pays an annual dividend of $2.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.6%. China Natural Gas does not pay a dividend. Southwest Gas pays out 57.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Southwest Gas has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years.


Southwest Gas beats China Natural Gas on 9 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Southwest Gas

Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, purchases, distributes, and transports natural gas in Arizona, Nevada, and California. The company operates through Natural Gas Operations and Construction Services segments. As of December 31, 2017, it had 2,015,000 residential, commercial, industrial, and other natural gas customers. The company installs, replaces, repairs, and maintains energy distribution systems from the town border station to the end-user; and develops industrial construction solutions. The company also serves customers in the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario in Canada. Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1931 and is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada.

About China Natural Gas

China Natural Gas, Inc., an integrated natural gas operator, engages in the sale and distribution of natural gas and gasoline to commercial, industrial, and residential customers in the People's Republic of China. The company is primarily involved in the distribution of compressed natural gas (CNG) through its variable interest entity-owned CNG fueling stations. As of December 31, 2012, it operated 31 CNG fueling stations, including 20 CNG fueling stations in Shaanxi Province, 10 CNG fueling stations in Henan Province, and 1 CNG fueling station in Hubei Province. It also installs natural gas pipelines, as well as distributes and sells piped natural gas to residential and commercial customers through a high pressure pipeline network of approximately 120 kilometers in the city of Xi'an in Shaanxi Province, including Lantian County; the districts of Lintong and Baqiao in Shaanxi Province; and the city of Lingbao in Henan Province. As of the above date, the company had approximately 122,020 residential and commercial customers for its pipeline network, as well as operated 4 automobile conversion sites for converting gasoline-fueled vehicles to hybrid (natural gas/gasoline) powered vehicles. The company is based in Xi'an, the People's Republic of China. On July 2, 2014, the involuntary petition of China Natural Gas, Inc. for reorganization under Chapter 11 was converted to Chapter 7. The involuntary petition was filed under Chapter 11 on February 8, 2013.

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