Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Friday. The firm currently has a $90.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 13.74% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. is an energy holding company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. owns two primary operating companies, Southwest Gas Corporation and Centuri Construction Group, Inc. Southwest Gas Corporation is a regulated utility and provides natural gas service to more than 1.9 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers in most of Arizona and Nevada, and parts of northeastern and southeastern California. Centuri Construction Group, Inc., is a full-service underground piping contractor that primarily provides utility companies with trenching and installation, replacement, and maintenance services for energy distribution systems, and develops industrial construction solutions. Centuri Construction Group Inc. operates in major markets across the United States and Canada. “

SWX has been the topic of several other research reports. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Gas in a report on Monday, October 16th. UBS Group upgraded Southwest Gas from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas in a report on Friday, October 20th. Finally, Citigroup lifted their price objective on Southwest Gas from $79.00 to $82.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, November 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Southwest Gas currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $83.00.

Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) traded up $0.02 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $79.13. The stock had a trading volume of 144,200 shares, compared to its average volume of 163,967. Southwest Gas has a fifty-two week low of $72.32 and a fifty-two week high of $86.87. 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 cap of $3,776.07, a PE ratio of 23.27, a PEG ratio of 3.73 and a beta of 0.61.

Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.21 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.07. Southwest Gas had a return on equity of 9.56% and a net margin of 6.64%. The business had revenue of $593.15 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $579.40 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.05 EPS. Southwest Gas’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.8% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts anticipate that Southwest Gas will post 3.38 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, VP Kenneth J. Kenny sold 600 shares of Southwest Gas stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.17, for a total value of $48,102.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 16,746 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,342,526.82. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Gregory J. Peterson sold 1,000 shares of Southwest Gas stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.72, for a total value of $85,720.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 5,120 shares of company stock worth $423,096. 0.99% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. State Street Corp raised its position in Southwest Gas by 3.6% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,654,461 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $120,875,000 after buying an additional 57,189 shares during the last quarter. Tributary Capital Management LLC raised its position in Southwest Gas by 8.2% in the 3rd quarter. Tributary Capital Management LLC now owns 21,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,630,000 after buying an additional 1,600 shares during the last quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. raised its position in Southwest Gas by 25.1% in the 3rd quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. now owns 58,915 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,862,000 after buying an additional 11,816 shares during the last quarter. AJO LP increased its position in shares of Southwest Gas by 279.6% during the 2nd quarter. AJO LP now owns 399,472 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $29,185,000 after purchasing an additional 294,244 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Brookfield Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Southwest Gas during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $1,563,000. 77.41% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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