Southwest Gas Corporation (SWX) Given Average Recommendation of “Hold” by Brokerages

Shares of Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX) have received an average rating of “Hold” from the six brokerages that are currently covering the company, MarketBeat reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and five have issued a hold rating on the company. The average twelve-month price target among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $78.00.

SWX has been the topic of several recent research reports. BidaskClub raised shares of Southwest Gas Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas Corporation in a report on Friday, September 1st. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 target price on shares of Southwest Gas Corporation in a report on Thursday, August 31st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southwest Gas Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 16th.

Shares of Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE SWX) traded up 0.68% during trading on Thursday, reaching $80.43. The company had a trading volume of 88,380 shares. Southwest Gas Corporation has a 12 month low of $66.10 and a 12 month high of $86.65. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $79.06 and a 200 day moving average price of $79.62. The company has a market cap of $3.83 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.90 and a beta of 0.60.

Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, August 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.37 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.28 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $560.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $564.84 million. Southwest Gas Corporation had a net margin of 6.46% and a return on equity of 9.09%. The business’s revenue was up 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.19 EPS. Analysts predict that Southwest Gas Corporation will post $3.44 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.495 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 14th. This represents a $1.98 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.48%. Southwest Gas Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is presently 61.11%.

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In other news, VP Kenneth J. Kenny sold 600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.90, for a total transaction of $48,540.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 17,137 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,386,383.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Karen S. Haller sold 1,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.95, for a total transaction of $105,235.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 26,639 shares in the company, valued at $2,156,427.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.99% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its holdings in shares of Southwest Gas Corporation by 7.3% during the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,725 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $126,000 after purchasing an additional 118 shares during the period. Flinton Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Southwest Gas Corporation by 69.7% during the second quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 2,416 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $177,000 after purchasing an additional 992 shares during the period. Riverhead Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Southwest Gas Corporation by 74.8% during the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 2,797 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $204,000 after purchasing an additional 1,197 shares during the period. GW&K Investment Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Southwest Gas Corporation during the second quarter worth approximately $205,000. Finally, Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC bought a new position in shares of Southwest Gas Corporation during the second quarter worth approximately $213,000. 76.80% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Southwest Gas Corporation

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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