Southwest Gas (SWX) Rating Increased to Buy at ValuEngine

ValuEngine upgraded shares of Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Friday morning.

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Citigroup boosted their price target on Southwest Gas from $73.00 to $80.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 3rd. Bank of America set a $76.00 price target on Southwest Gas and gave the company a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 3rd. Williams Capital boosted their price target on Southwest Gas from $74.00 to $78.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Monday, December 3rd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Southwest Gas from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, October 19th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $79.00.

Southwest Gas stock traded down $0.40 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $80.76. 366,365 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 355,605. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.09, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a current ratio of 1.01. The company has a market cap of $4.01 billion, a PE ratio of 22.31, a PEG ratio of 5.39 and a beta of 0.40. Southwest Gas has a 1 year low of $62.53 and a 1 year high of $85.97.

Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.25 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $668.10 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $224.00 million. Southwest Gas had a return on equity of 10.01% and a net margin of 7.39%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 12.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.21 EPS. As a group, analysts predict that Southwest Gas will post 3.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.52 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 14th. This represents a $2.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.58%. Southwest Gas’s payout ratio is presently 57.46%.

In other news, VP Kenneth J. Kenny sold 500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $82.67, for a total value of $41,335.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 15,509 shares in the company, valued at $1,282,129.03. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.99% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of SWX. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Gas by 15.9% in the second quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 6,672 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $509,000 after buying an additional 914 shares during the last quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Gas by 29.2% in the second quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 31,090 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,371,000 after buying an additional 7,020 shares during the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Gas by 51.6% in the second quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 81,366 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $6,206,000 after buying an additional 27,711 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Gas by 2.8% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 602,674 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $45,966,000 after buying an additional 16,438 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS purchased a new stake in shares of Southwest Gas in the second quarter worth about $995,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.53% of the company’s stock.

Southwest Gas Company Profile

Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc, through its subsidiaries, purchases, distributes, and transports natural gas in Arizona, Nevada, and California. The company operates through Natural Gas Operations and Construction Services segments. As of December 31, 2017, it had 2,015,000 residential, commercial, industrial, and other natural gas customers.

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