Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

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Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. The firm presently has a $100.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 11.31% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. is an energy holding company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. owns two primary operating companies, Southwest Gas Corporation and Centuri Construction Group, Inc. Southwest Gas Corporation is a regulated utility and provides natural gas service to more than 1.9 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers in most of Arizona and Nevada, and parts of northeastern and southeastern California. Centuri Construction Group, Inc., is a full-service underground piping contractor that primarily provides utility companies with trenching and installation, replacement, and maintenance services for energy distribution systems, and develops industrial construction solutions. Centuri Construction Group Inc. operates in major markets across the United States and Canada. “

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on SWX. Williams Capital raised Southwest Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $81.00 to $96.00 in a report on Tuesday, June 18th. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Allergan in a report on Monday, June 10th. ValuEngine raised VESTAS WIND SYS/ADR from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, May 9th. UBS Group raised their target price on Colgate-Palmolive from $71.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, March 29th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their target price on Auto Trader Group from GBX 386 ($5.04) to GBX 414 ($5.41) and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Wednesday. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $88.71.

Shares of NYSE SWX traded up $0.45 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $89.84. 7,378 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 208,363. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $88.80. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.51, a P/E/G ratio of 3.70 and a beta of 0.35. The company has a quick ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 0.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90. Southwest Gas has a one year low of $72.68 and a one year high of $91.93.

Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.77 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.58 by $0.19. The firm had revenue of $807.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $516.97 million. Southwest Gas had a return on equity of 9.34% and a net margin of 6.69%. The company’s revenue was up 7.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.63 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Southwest Gas will post 3.92 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Southwest Gas news, SVP Eric Debonis sold 350 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.19, for a total transaction 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 legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO John P. Hester sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.60, for a total value of $181,200.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 62,694 shares in the company, valued at $5,680,076.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 6,350 shares of company stock worth $555,637. 0.83% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Sageworth Trust Co purchased a new position in shares of Southwest Gas during the first quarter valued at about $25,000. Quadrant Capital Group LLC grew its position 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. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Southwest Gas during the first quarter valued at about $41,000. Hanson McClain Inc. grew its position in shares of Southwest Gas by 173.5% during the first quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 547 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $45,000 after purchasing an additional 347 shares in the last quarter. Finally, NEXT Financial Group Inc purchased a new position in shares of Southwest Gas during the second quarter valued at about $47,000. 82.82% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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 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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