Jefferies Group Comments on Southwest Gas Corp.’s FY2017 Earnings (SWX)
Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) – Investment analysts at Jefferies Group boosted their FY2017 EPS estimates for Southwest Gas Corp. in a report issued on Thursday. Jefferies Group analyst C. Sighinolfi now expects that the firm will earn $3.53 per share for the year, up from their prior forecast of $3.52. Jefferies Group has a “Hold” rating and a $65.00 price objective on the stock.
A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Southwest Gas Corp. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, October 1st. Argus reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas Corp. in a report on Thursday, September 8th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. lifted their price objective on Southwest Gas Corp. from $62.00 to $79.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, Southwest Gas Corp. presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $71.50.
Shares of Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) opened at 66.77 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $3.17 billion, a PE ratio of 21.81 and a beta of 0.54. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $69.40 and a 200 day moving average price of $70.93. 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 posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, August 8th. The company reported $0.19 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate 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 earned $547.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $559.21 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.13 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, November 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.45 per share. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.70%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 10th. Southwest Gas Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 59.02%.
In related news, SVP Eric Debonis sold 600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.99, for a total value of $43,794.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 19,694 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,437,465.06. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CFO Roy R. Centrella sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 31,618 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,261,951.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.34% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Southwest Gas Corp. by 9.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,098,310 shares of the company’s stock worth $322,579,000 after buying an additional 359,211 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its position in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 2.2% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 3,069,954 shares of the company’s stock valued at $202,156,000 after buying an additional 66,558 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 47.2% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,598,917 shares of the company’s stock valued at $125,848,000 after buying an additional 512,734 shares during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its position in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 25.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 1,547,633 shares of the company’s stock valued at $121,814,000 after buying an additional 313,860 shares during the period. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its position in shares of Southwest Gas Corp. by 34.8% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,290,116 shares of the company’s stock valued at $101,545,000 after buying an additional 333,337 shares during the period. 80.17% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other 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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