Southwest Gas Holdings Inc (SWX) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southwest Gas Holdings Inc (NYSE:SWX) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Friday, April 14th.

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. “

Several other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Jefferies Group LLC restated a sell rating and issued a $68.00 price target on shares of Southwest Gas Holdings in a report on Friday, March 31st. Bank of America Corp cut Southwest Gas Holdings from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $88.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Monday, March 6th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have given a hold rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $80.75.

Southwest Gas Holdings (NYSE:SWX) traded up 0.797% during trading on Friday, hitting $77.795. The company had a trading volume of 197,581 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $3.70 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.490 and a beta of 0.51. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $82.81 and a 200 day moving average of $79.55. Southwest Gas Holdings has a 12-month low of $64.26 and a 12-month high of $86.65.

Southwest Gas Holdings (NYSE:SWX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, May 8th. The utilities provider reported $1.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.63 by $0.18. Southwest Gas Holdings had a return on equity of 9.26% and a net margin of 6.11%. The business had revenue of $654.74 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $741.80 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.58 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 10.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Southwest Gas Holdings will post $3.41 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 15th will be given a dividend of $0.495 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 11th. This represents a $1.98 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.57%. Southwest Gas Holdings’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 56.25%.

In related news, SVP Eric Debonis sold 350 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.02, for a total transaction of $28,007.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 20,057 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,604,961.14. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 1.34% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Southwest Gas Holdings by 5,500.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,796,013 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $480,546,000 after buying an additional 5,692,518 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Southwest Gas Holdings by 19.0% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,332,229 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $442,095,000 after buying an additional 849,583 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Southwest Gas Holdings during the fourth quarter valued at about $46,229,000. Bank of America Corp DE raised its stake in Southwest Gas Holdings by 74.8% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 635,225 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $52,667,000 after buying an additional 271,826 shares in the last quarter. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Southwest Gas Holdings by 67.7% in the fourth quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 540,980 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $41,450,000 after buying an additional 218,433 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.58% of the company’s stock.

About Southwest Gas Holdings

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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