Jefferies Group LLC Reiterates Hold Rating for Southwest Gas Corporation (SWX)

Jefferies Group LLC reiterated their hold rating on shares of Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX) in a report published on Monday, October 16th. Jefferies Group LLC currently has a $70.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock.

Several other brokerages also recently issued reports on SWX. BidaskClub raised shares of Southwest Gas Corporation from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southwest Gas Corporation from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, August 16th. Finally, KeyCorp reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Southwest Gas Corporation in a report on Friday, September 1st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and five have given a hold rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $78.00.

Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX) opened at 80.88 on Monday. Southwest Gas Corporation has a 52 week low of $69.85 and a 52 week high of $86.65. The company has a 50-day moving average of $79.12 and a 200-day moving average of $79.34. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.85 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.04 and a beta of 0.60.

Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, August 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.37 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.28 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $560.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $564.84 million. Southwest Gas Corporation had a net margin of 6.46% and a return on equity of 9.09%. The firm’s revenue was up 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.19 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Southwest Gas Corporation will post $3.43 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th will be issued a $0.495 dividend. This represents a $1.98 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.45%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 14th. Southwest Gas Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 61.11%.

In related news, SVP Karen S. Haller sold 1,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.95, for a total transaction of $105,235.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 26,639 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,156,427.05. The sale 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 company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.90, for a total transaction of $48,540.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 17,137 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,386,383.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.99% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in SWX. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Southwest Gas Corporation by 5.2% during the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 29,118 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,414,000 after buying an additional 1,445 shares during the period. Stifel Financial Corp lifted its stake in shares of Southwest Gas Corporation by 3.4% during the first quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 5,368 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $444,000 after buying an additional 177 shares during the period. Neuberger Berman Group LLC lifted its stake in shares of Southwest Gas Corporation by 0.4% during the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 3,093 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $256,000 after buying an additional 13 shares during the period. Advantus Capital Management Inc lifted its stake in shares of Southwest Gas Corporation by 3.2% during the first quarter. Advantus Capital Management Inc now owns 6,088 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $505,000 after buying an additional 187 shares during the period. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Southwest Gas Corporation by 189.2% during the first quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 22,301 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,849,000 after buying an additional 14,591 shares during the period. 76.63% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Southwest Gas Corporation

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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