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

ValuEngine downgraded shares of Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning, ValuEngine reports.

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on SWX. Williams Capital upgraded shares of Southwest Gas from a hold rating to a buy rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $81.00 to $96.00 in a research report on Tuesday, June 18th. UBS Group set a $91.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Gas and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Friday, July 19th. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Southwest Gas in a report on Monday, June 10th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southwest Gas from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $100.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, July 17th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. began coverage on shares of Southwest Gas in a report on Wednesday, July 17th. They set an overweight rating and a $93.00 target price for the company. One investment 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 company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $89.00.

Shares of SWX traded down $0.77 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $89.11. The stock had a trading volume of 201,757 shares, compared to its average volume of 154,974. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 0.85 and a quick ratio of 0.85. The business’s 50-day moving average is $89.81. Southwest Gas has a fifty-two week low of $72.68 and a fifty-two week high of $91.93. The firm has a market cap of $4.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.21, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.67 and a beta of 0.33.

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

In related news, CEO John P. Hester sold 2,000 shares of the company’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 completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 62,694 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,680,076.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Justin L. Brown acquired 418 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 11th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $86.20 per share, with a total value of $36,031.60. Following the acquisition, the senior vice president now directly owns 5,720 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $493,064. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold 6,350 shares of company stock valued at $555,637 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.83% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio lifted its position in Southwest Gas by 33.4% in the 4th quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 39,144 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,995,000 after acquiring an additional 9,793 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its position in Southwest Gas by 124.5% in the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,059,753 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $81,072,000 after acquiring an additional 587,738 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new position in Southwest Gas in the 4th quarter valued at about $33,953,000. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Southwest Gas by 15.4% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 591,797 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $45,272,000 after acquiring an additional 79,083 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dalton Greiner Hartman Maher & Co. bought a new position in Southwest Gas in the 1st quarter valued at about $17,267,000. 82.64% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX)

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