Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) Reaches New 52-Week High on Insider Buying Activity

Southwest Gas Holdings Inc (NYSE:SWX) reached a new 52-week high on Thursday after an insider bought additional shares in the company. The company traded as high as $88.68 and last traded at $88.68, with a volume of 705 shares. The stock had previously closed at $87.48.

Specifically, SVP Eric Debonis sold 350 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.19, for a total value of $29,116.50. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 10,800 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $898,452. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO John P. Hester sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.46, for a total value of $170,920.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 66,694 shares in the company, valued at $5,699,669.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 6,050 shares of company stock worth $516,455. 0.83% of the stock is owned by insiders.

SWX has been the topic of several analyst reports. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas in a report on Friday, May 10th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Southwest Gas from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, February 21st. Williams Capital reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas in a report on Monday, March 18th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Southwest Gas from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 9th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. Southwest Gas currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $84.33.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 0.85 and a quick ratio of 0.85. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.67 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.91, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.62 and a beta of 0.33.

Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, May 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.77 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.58 by $0.19. Southwest Gas had a return on equity of 9.34% and a net margin of 6.69%. The business had revenue of $807.10 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $516.97 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.63 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Southwest Gas Holdings Inc will post 3.92 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 3rd. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.545 per share. This represents a $2.18 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.48%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 14th. Southwest Gas’s payout ratio is currently 59.24%.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Sageworth Trust Co bought a new position in shares of Southwest Gas during the first quarter valued at $25,000. Fort L.P. bought a new position in shares of Southwest Gas during the first quarter valued at $25,000. Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. lifted its holdings in shares of Southwest Gas by 204.4% during the first quarter. Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. now owns 344 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $28,000 after purchasing an additional 231 shares in the last quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Southwest Gas by 189.9% during the first quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 400 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $32,000 after purchasing an additional 262 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. bought a new position in shares of Southwest Gas during the first quarter valued at $41,000. 82.89% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Southwest Gas Company Profile (NYSE:SWX)

Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc, through its subsidiaries, purchases, distributes, and transports natural gas in Arizona, Nevada, and California. The company operates through two segments, Natural Gas Operations and Utility Infrastructure Services. As of December 31, 2018, it had 2,047,000 residential, commercial, industrial, and other natural gas customers.

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