Analysts Set Southwest Gas Corporation (SWX) Target Price at $81.25

Shares of Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX) have earned a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the seven brokerages that are covering the firm, Marketbeat Ratings reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation and six have given a hold recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month price objective among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $81.25.

Several brokerages recently commented on SWX. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southwest Gas from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 16th. Citigroup boosted their price target on shares of Southwest Gas from $79.00 to $82.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, November 20th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Southwest Gas from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Southwest Gas in a report on Monday, October 16th. Finally, KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas in a report on Friday, September 1st.

Southwest Gas (SWX) traded down $0.57 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $85.66. 381,284 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 264,451. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 0.82 and a current ratio of 0.82. The stock has a market cap of $4,115.92, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.91 and a beta of 0.61. Southwest Gas has a 52-week low of $71.51 and a 52-week high of $86.87.

Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.21 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $593.15 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $579.40 million. Southwest Gas had a net margin of 6.64% and a return on equity of 9.56%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 9.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.05 EPS. equities research analysts forecast that Southwest Gas will post 3.42 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, February 15th will be issued a $0.495 dividend. This represents a $1.98 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.31%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 14th. Southwest Gas’s payout ratio is presently 58.24%.

In other Southwest Gas news, VP Kenneth J. Kenny sold 600 shares of Southwest Gas stock in a transaction on Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.17, for a total transaction of $48,102.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 16,746 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,342,526.82. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Eric Debonis sold 3,520 shares of Southwest Gas stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $82.18, for a total transaction of $289,273.60. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 16,060 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,319,810.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 5,120 shares of company stock valued at $423,096. 0.99% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in SWX. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its stake in Southwest Gas by 7.3% during the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,725 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $126,000 after purchasing an additional 118 shares during the last quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Southwest Gas by 69.7% during the 2nd quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 2,416 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $177,000 after purchasing an additional 992 shares during the last quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Southwest Gas by 74.8% during the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 2,797 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $204,000 after acquiring an additional 1,197 shares during the last quarter. Ashfield Capital Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of Southwest Gas during the 3rd quarter valued at about $212,000. Finally, Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC acquired a new position in shares of Southwest Gas during the 2nd quarter valued at about $213,000. 77.50% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Southwest Gas

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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