National Fuel Gas (NFG) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “National Fuel Gas Corporation is an integrated energy company with a complementary mix of natural gas assets located in the heart of the prolific Appalachian basin supplemented by quality oil-producing assets in California. National Fuel’s integrated operations are strategically balanced to promote strength and stability through times of change and volatility, while also providing the flexibility to adapt and capitalize on opportunities for growth in almost any business cycle. In the current environment, National Fuel is leveraging its vast upstream resources, valuable midstream footprint and reliable downstream operations to responsibly position the Company as a key player in America’s energy renaissance. “

A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on NFG. Citigroup restated a neutral rating and set a $54.00 price target on shares of National Fuel Gas in a research note on Wednesday, March 7th. Jefferies Financial Group downgraded National Fuel Gas from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 25th. TheStreet downgraded National Fuel Gas from a b- rating to a c rating in a research note on Thursday, May 3rd. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded National Fuel Gas from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 2nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. National Fuel Gas has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $59.60.

National Fuel Gas opened at $53.34 on Wednesday, Marketbeat.com reports. The stock has a market cap of $4.55 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.16, a PEG ratio of 3.36 and a beta of 0.89. National Fuel Gas has a 52-week low of $48.31 and a 52-week high of $59.92. The company has a quick ratio of 1.45, a current ratio of 1.56 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.09.

National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 3rd. The oil and gas producer reported $1.11 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $540.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $569.43 million. National Fuel Gas had a return on equity of 16.12% and a net margin of 24.80%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.04 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that National Fuel Gas will post 3.28 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 13th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 29th will be given a dividend of $0.425 per share. This is a boost from National Fuel Gas’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. This represents a $1.70 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.19%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 28th. National Fuel Gas’s payout ratio is presently 50.30%.

In other news, SVP Paula M. Ciprich sold 4,639 shares of National Fuel Gas stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.77, for a total transaction of $244,800.03. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 66,681 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,518,756.37. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 2.57% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of NFG. Teacher Retirement System of Texas lifted its position in shares of National Fuel Gas by 315.5% during the 4th quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 26,333 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $1,446,000 after buying an additional 19,995 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its position in shares of National Fuel Gas by 0.6% during the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 194,623 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $10,687,000 after buying an additional 1,071 shares in the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its position in shares of National Fuel Gas by 13.1% during the 4th quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 142,111 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $7,804,000 after buying an additional 16,418 shares in the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System lifted its position in shares of National Fuel Gas by 27.2% during the 4th quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 61,601 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $3,383,000 after buying an additional 13,157 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in shares of National Fuel Gas by 4.9% during the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,269,811 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $69,725,000 after buying an additional 59,826 shares in the last quarter. 70.14% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

National Fuel Gas Company Profile

National Fuel Gas Company operates as a diversified energy company. The company operates in five segments: Exploration and Production, Pipeline and Storage, Gathering, Utility, and Energy Marketing. The Exploration and Production segment explores for, develops, and produces natural gas and oil reserves in California in the Appalachian region of the United States.

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