Southwest Gas Corp. (SWX) Lifted to “Hold” at Jefferies Group
Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) was upgraded by investment analysts at Jefferies Group to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Thursday.
A number of other research firms have also recently commented on SWX. Zacks Investment Research raised Southwest Gas Corp. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 20th. Citigroup Inc. increased their target price on Southwest Gas Corp. from $62.00 to $79.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. Finally, Argus reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas Corp. in a research note on Thursday, September 8th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, Southwest Gas Corp. presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $71.25.
Shares of Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) opened at 65.71 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $3.12 billion, a PE ratio of 21.46 and a beta of 0.54. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $69.68 and its 200 day moving average price is $70.94. Southwest Gas Corp. has a 12 month low of $50.53 and a 12 month high of $79.58.
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Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) last released its earnings results on Monday, August 8th. The company reported $0.19 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.18 by $0.01. Southwest Gas Corp. had a return on equity of 9.07% and a net margin of 5.90%. The firm had revenue of $547.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $559.21 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.13 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Southwest Gas Corp. will post $3.17 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 15th will be given a dividend of $0.45 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 10th. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.74%. Southwest Gas Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 59.02%.
In related news, SVP Eric Debonis sold 600 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.99, for a total transaction of $43,794.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 19,694 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,437,465.06. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CFO Roy R. Centrella sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.54, for a total value of $71,540.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 31,618 shares in the company, valued at $2,261,951.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.34% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 867,722 shares of the company’s stock valued at $47,865,000 after buying an additional 19,667 shares during the last quarter. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC boosted its position in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 5.6% in the fourth quarter. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC now owns 435,655 shares of the company’s stock valued at $24,031,000 after buying an additional 23,258 shares during the last quarter. Boston Advisors boosted its position in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 111.2% in the fourth quarter. Boston Advisors now owns 162,532 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,965,000 after buying an additional 85,577 shares during the last quarter. ICON Advisers boosted its position in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 6.9% in the third quarter. ICON Advisers now owns 135,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,903,000 after buying an additional 8,700 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Russell Frank Co boosted its position in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 116.6% in the fourth quarter. Russell Frank Co now owns 155,992 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,722,000 after buying an additional 83,962 shares during the last quarter. 80.16% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
About Southwest Gas Corp.
Southwest Gas Corporation is engaged in the business of purchasing, distributing and transporting natural gas in Arizona, Nevada and California. 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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