Southwest Gas Corporation (SWX) Receives Consensus Rating of “Hold” from Brokerages

Shares of Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX) have earned a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the seven analysts that are presently covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and six have given a hold rating to the company. The average 12-month price target among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $81.25.

SWX has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southwest Gas from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 16th. BidaskClub cut shares of Southwest Gas from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Southwest Gas in a research note on Thursday, August 31st. KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Finally, UBS increased their price target on shares of Southwest Gas from $83.00 to $85.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 8th.

In other news, VP Gregory J. Peterson sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.72, for a total transaction of $85,720.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Kenneth J. Kenny sold 600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.17, for a total transaction 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 5,120 shares of company stock valued at $423,096. 0.99% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio acquired a new stake in shares of Southwest Gas during the 3rd quarter worth about $666,000. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its stake in shares of 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 worth $8,281,000 after buying an additional 1,690 shares during the last quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC lifted its stake in shares of Southwest Gas by 154.7% during the 3rd quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 13,495 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,047,000 after buying an additional 8,197 shares during the last quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Southwest Gas during the 3rd quarter worth about $1,780,000. Finally, Cramer Rosenthal Mcglynn LLC raised its stake in Southwest Gas by 1.4% in the 3rd quarter. Cramer Rosenthal Mcglynn LLC now owns 261,657 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $20,310,000 after purchasing an additional 3,655 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 77.50% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Southwest Gas (NYSE SWX) traded down $0.66 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $82.74. 121,318 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 263,562. The firm has a market capitalization of $4,088.71, a PE ratio of 25.19, a P/E/G ratio of 3.89 and a beta of 0.61. 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 12-month low of $71.51 and a 12-month high of $86.87.

Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.21 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.14 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $593.15 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $579.40 million. Southwest Gas had a net margin of 6.64% and a return on equity of 9.56%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.05 earnings per share. research analysts expect that Southwest Gas will post 3.42 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Stockholders of record on Thursday, February 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.495 per share. This represents a $1.98 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.39%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 14th. Southwest Gas’s dividend payout ratio is presently 58.24%.

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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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