Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) Upgraded to “Hold” by StockNews.com

StockNews.com upgraded shares of Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWXGet Rating) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Monday.

Several other research firms also recently commented on SWX. TheStreet raised Southwest Gas from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a report on Monday, April 4th. Wells Fargo & Company upped their price target on Southwest Gas from $84.00 to $101.00 in a report on Tuesday, May 10th. Finally, Bank of America raised Southwest Gas from a neutral rating to a buy rating and upped their price target for the company from $81.00 to $88.00 in a report on Wednesday, March 30th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, Southwest Gas presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $89.00.

Southwest Gas stock traded down $1.08 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $92.89. The company had a trading volume of 383,554 shares, compared to its average volume of 514,170. The company has a current ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.31. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $84.40 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $74.16. Southwest Gas has a 12 month low of $62.54 and a 12 month high of $95.13. The company has a market capitalization of $6.21 billion, a PE ratio of 31.28, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.03 and a beta of 0.11.

Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWXGet Rating) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, March 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.61 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.56 by $0.05. Southwest Gas had a return on equity of 7.62% and a net margin of 4.42%. The business had revenue of $1.08 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.05 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.82 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Southwest Gas will post 4.57 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 1st. Investors of record on Monday, August 15th will be given a dividend of $0.62 per share. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.67%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 12th. Southwest Gas’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 83.50%.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Southwest Gas by 9.2% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 10,140,343 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $793,886,000 after buying an additional 857,178 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Southwest Gas by 11.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,646,936 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $520,388,000 after buying an additional 690,696 shares in the last quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Southwest Gas by 17.0% during the first quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,609,763 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $204,318,000 after purchasing an additional 378,480 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp grew its position in shares of Southwest Gas by 8.9% during the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,010,018 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $157,364,000 after purchasing an additional 164,718 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its position in shares of Southwest Gas by 363.0% during the fourth quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,884,490 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $132,008,000 after purchasing an additional 1,477,485 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.29% of the company’s stock.

Southwest Gas Company Profile (Get Rating)

Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc, through its subsidiaries, distributes and transports natural gas in Arizona, Nevada, and California. The company operates through Natural Gas Distribution, Utility Infrastructure Services, and Pipeline and Storage segments. It also provides trenching, installation, and replacement of underground pipes, as well as maintenance services for energy distribution systems.

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