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Gas Natural (NASDAQ:EGAS) was upgraded by investment analysts at Wunderlich from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm currently has a $13.50 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of $11.00. Wunderlich’s target price suggests a potential upside of 8.43% from the company’s current price.

The analysts wrote, “We are upgrading from Hold to Buy and increasing our 12-18 month price target for Gas Natural (EGAS) to $13.50 (previously $11) following a disclosure that the board has received and rejected at least three unsolicited acquisition offers in 2014, priced as high as $13 per share. “We believe EGAS represents a compelling acquisition target as the industry continues to consolidate, given its attractive portfolio of assets and discounted valuation relative to peers. Our revised target equates to 17.4x our 2016 EPS estimate, which is near the midpoint of the most recent takeover bid and a $14 per share valuation where we could expect an M&A scenario within the next 12-18 months.”

Gas Natural (NASDAQ:EGAS) traded up 6.96% on Tuesday, hitting $12.45. 373,077 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Gas Natural has a one year low of $7.49 and a one year high of $12.62. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $10.52 and its 200-day moving average is $10.10. The company has a market cap of $130.6 million and a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.77.

Gas Natural (NASDAQ:EGAS) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, May 15th. The company reported $0.48 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $60.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $39.90 million. On average, analysts predict that Gas Natural will post $0.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a jul 14 dividend, which is scheduled for Thursday, July 31st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, July 15th will be given a dividend of $0.045 per share. This represents a yield of 5.22%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, July 11th.

Separately, analysts at Zacks downgraded shares of Gas Natural from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 3rd. They now have a $12.00 price target on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $12.75.

Gas Natural Inc is a natural gas company, primarily operating local distribution companies in six states and serving approximately 70,000 customers.

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