Southwest Gas Corp. (SWX) Lifted to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “SOUTHWEST GAS CORP. is principally engaged in the business of purchasing, transporting, and distributing natural gas in portions of Arizona, Nevada, and California. The Company also engaged in financial services activities, through PriMerit Bank, Federal Savings Bank (PriMerit or the Bank), a wholly owned subsidiary. “
Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Jefferies Group cut Southwest Gas Corp. from a “hold” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $64.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Monday, July 25th. Argus reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas Corp. in a research note on Thursday, September 8th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. increased their target price on Southwest Gas Corp. from $62.00 to $79.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, Southwest Gas Corp. currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $71.50.
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Shares of Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) opened at 68.145 on Tuesday. Southwest Gas Corp. has a 12 month low of $50.53 and a 12 month high of $79.58. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $69.33 and a 200 day moving average of $71.01. The company has a market capitalization of $3.24 billion, a PE ratio of 22.255 and a beta of 0.54.
Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, August 8th. The company reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.18 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $547.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $559.21 million. Southwest Gas Corp. had a return on equity of 9.07% and a net margin of 5.90%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.13 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Southwest Gas Corp. will post $3.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, November 15th will be given a dividend of $0.45 per share. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.65%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 10th. Southwest Gas Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 59.02%.
In other news, SVP Eric Debonis sold 600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated 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 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 SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Roy R. Centrella sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 21st. The stock was 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 approximately $2,261,951.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.34% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SWX. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its stake in Southwest Gas Corp. by 144.5% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 26,309 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,071,000 after buying an additional 15,548 shares in the last quarter. Barclays PLC raised its stake in Southwest Gas Corp. by 0.5% in the first quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 28,003 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,820,000 after buying an additional 134 shares in the last quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd raised its stake in Southwest Gas Corp. by 2.2% in the first quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd now owns 25,367 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,688,000 after buying an additional 557 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in Southwest Gas Corp. by 57.8% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 186,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,248,000 after buying an additional 68,100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wellington Management Group LLP raised its stake in Southwest Gas Corp. by 27.3% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 236,218 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,556,000 after buying an additional 50,622 shares in the last quarter. 80.17% 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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