National Fuel Gas (NFG) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a $56.00 target price on the oil and gas producer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 12.99% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “National Fuel Gas Company operates as a diversified energy company. The company operates in five segments: Exploration and Production, Pipeline and Storage, Gathering, Utility, and Energy Marketing. The Exploration and Production segment explores for, develops, and produces natural gas and oil reserves in California in the Appalachian region of the United States. The Pipeline and Storage segment provides interstate natural gas transportation and storage services through an integrated gas pipeline system extending from Southwestern Pennsylvania to the New York-Canadian border etc. The Gathering segment builds, owns, and operates natural gas processing and pipeline gathering facilities in the Appalachian region. The Energy Marketing segment markets natural gas to industrial, wholesale, commercial, public authority, and residential customers primarily in western and central New York, and north-western Pennsylvania. “

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Sidoti upgraded shares of National Fuel Gas from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, January 2nd. TheStreet lowered shares of National Fuel Gas from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $54.00 target price on shares of National Fuel Gas in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Scotiabank reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $60.00 target price on shares of National Fuel Gas in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. National Fuel Gas presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $61.00.

National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) traded down $0.23 on Thursday, hitting $49.56. 998,646 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 518,813. The company has a market capitalization of $4,272.07, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.87, a P/E/G ratio of 4.85 and a beta of 0.88. National Fuel Gas has a fifty-two week low of $48.31 and a fifty-two week high of $61.25. The company has a current ratio of 1.43, a quick ratio of 1.27 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.12.

National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The oil and gas producer reported $1.02 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.21. The business had revenue of $419.66 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $453.61 million. National Fuel Gas had a net margin of 24.93% and a return on equity of 16.36%. The company’s revenue was down .7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.04 earnings per share. equities research analysts expect that National Fuel Gas will post 3.32 EPS for the current year.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of National Fuel Gas by 0.9% in the second quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 44,361 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $2,476,000 after buying an additional 407 shares in the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. lifted its holdings in shares of National Fuel Gas by 1.8% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 50,732 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $2,833,000 after buying an additional 875 shares in the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of National Fuel Gas by 10.3% in the third quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 9,654 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $546,000 after buying an additional 903 shares in the last quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of National Fuel Gas by 1.4% in the third quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 69,512 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $3,935,000 after buying an additional 978 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Comerica Bank lifted its holdings in shares of National Fuel Gas by 1.4% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 78,630 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $4,436,000 after buying an additional 1,055 shares in the last quarter. 71.78% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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National Fuel Gas Company Profile

National Fuel Gas Company is a holding company. The Company is an energy company engaged principally in the production, gathering, transportation, distribution and marketing of natural gas. The Company operates in five business segments: Exploration and Production, Pipeline and Storage, Gathering, Utility, and Energy Marketing.

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