Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) Lowered to Hold at ValuEngine

ValuEngine lowered shares of Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Thursday, ValuEngine reports.

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on SWX. Williams Capital raised Southwest Gas from a hold rating to a buy rating and increased their target price for the stock from $81.00 to $96.00 in a research note on Tuesday, June 18th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. began coverage on Southwest Gas in a research note on Wednesday, July 17th. They issued an overweight rating and a $93.00 target price on the stock. UBS Group set a $91.00 target price on Southwest Gas and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Friday, July 19th. Zacks Investment Research raised Southwest Gas from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $100.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, July 17th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reissued a hold rating on shares of Southwest Gas in a research note on Monday, June 10th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $89.00.

SWX stock traded down $2.23 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $86.88. The stock had a trading volume of 8,666 shares, compared to its average volume of 165,915. The stock has a market cap of $4.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.52, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.68 and a beta of 0.33. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $89.81. Southwest Gas has a 52-week low of $72.68 and a 52-week high of $91.93. The company has a current ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90.

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

In other news, SVP Eric Debonis sold 350 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.19, for a total transaction of $29,116.50. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 10,800 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $898,452. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Justin L. Brown bought 418 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 11th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $86.20 per share, for a total transaction of $36,031.60. Following the acquisition, the senior vice president now owns 5,720 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $493,064. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 6,350 shares of company stock worth $555,637. Corporate insiders own 0.83% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Sageworth Trust Co bought a new position in Southwest Gas in the first quarter valued at about $25,000. Quadrant Capital Group LLC lifted its holdings in Southwest Gas by 189.9% in the first quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 400 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $32,000 after acquiring an additional 262 shares during the period. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in Southwest Gas by 39.4% in the second quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 407 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $36,000 after acquiring an additional 115 shares during the period. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. bought a new position in Southwest Gas in the first quarter valued at about $41,000. Finally, Hanson McClain Inc. lifted its holdings in Southwest Gas by 173.5% in the first quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 547 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $45,000 after acquiring an additional 347 shares during the period. 83.32% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Southwest Gas

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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