Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday.

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 subject of a number of other reports. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $70.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Gas in a report on Monday, October 16th. UBS Group upgraded shares of Southwest Gas from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. KeyCorp restated a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas in a report on Friday, October 20th. Finally, Citigroup upped their price target on shares of Southwest Gas from $79.00 to $82.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, November 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $83.00.

Shares of Southwest Gas (NYSE SWX) traded down $1.05 on Friday, hitting $75.75. 147,766 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 206,872. The company has a market cap of $3,610.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.28, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.72 and a beta of 0.62. The company has a current ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01. Southwest Gas has a 1 year low of $72.32 and a 1 year high of $86.87.

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

In related news, VP Kenneth J. Kenny sold 600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on 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 sale, the vice president now directly owns 16,746 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,342,526.82. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, VP Gregory J. Peterson sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.72, for a total transaction of $85,720.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 5,120 shares of company stock valued at $423,096 over the last quarter. 0.99% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio bought a new stake in Southwest Gas during the 3rd quarter valued at $666,000. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its holdings in Southwest Gas by 1.6% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 106,690 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $8,281,000 after buying an additional 1,690 shares during the last quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC increased its position in Southwest Gas by 154.7% during the 3rd quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 13,495 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,047,000 after purchasing an additional 8,197 shares during the period. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. purchased a new position in Southwest Gas during the 3rd quarter valued at $1,780,000. Finally, Cramer Rosenthal Mcglynn LLC increased its position in Southwest Gas by 1.4% during the 3rd quarter. Cramer Rosenthal Mcglynn LLC now owns 261,657 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $20,310,000 after purchasing an additional 3,655 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 77.41% of the company’s stock.

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Southwest Gas Company Profile

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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