Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX) has been given an average rating of “Hold” by the seven analysts that are covering the firm, Marketbeat Ratings reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation and six have issued a hold recommendation on the company. The average 1-year price target among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $81.25.

Several research firms have weighed in on SWX. Citigroup boosted their price target on shares of Southwest Gas from $79.00 to $82.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, November 20th. UBS boosted their price target on shares of Southwest Gas from $83.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 8th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southwest Gas from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 16th. KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Finally, Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Southwest Gas in a research note on Thursday, August 31st.

In other news, VP Kenneth J. Kenny sold 600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.17, for a total transaction of $48,102.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 16,746 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,342,526.82. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Eric Debonis sold 3,520 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.18, for a total transaction of $289,273.60. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 16,060 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,319,810.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 5,120 shares of company stock valued at $423,096. Insiders own 0.99% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its stake in shares of Southwest Gas by 7.3% during the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,725 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $126,000 after acquiring an additional 118 shares during the last quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Southwest Gas by 69.7% during the second quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 2,416 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $177,000 after buying an additional 992 shares during the period. Ashfield Capital Partners LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southwest Gas during the third quarter valued at about $212,000. Riverhead Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Southwest Gas by 74.8% during the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 2,797 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $204,000 after buying an additional 1,197 shares during the period. Finally, Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southwest Gas during the second quarter valued at about $213,000. 77.50% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Southwest Gas (NYSE SWX) traded up $0.98 during trading on Friday, reaching $85.94. 294,600 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 263,546. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01, a current ratio of 0.82 and a quick ratio of 0.82. The company has a market capitalization of $4,015.20, a P/E ratio of 24.74, a PEG ratio of 3.82 and a beta of 0.61. Southwest Gas has a 1-year low of $71.51 and a 1-year high of $86.65.

Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.21 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $593.15 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $579.40 million. Southwest Gas had a net margin of 6.64% and a return on equity of 9.56%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.05 earnings per share. analysts predict that Southwest Gas will post 3.42 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Stockholders of record on Thursday, February 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.495 per share. This represents a $1.98 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.30%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 14th. Southwest Gas’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 58.24%.

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About Southwest Gas

Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc, formerly Southwest Gas Corporation, is engaged in the business of purchasing, distributing and transporting natural gas. 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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