Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Saturday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. is an energy holding company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. owns two primary operating companies, Southwest Gas Corporation and Centuri Construction Group, Inc. Southwest Gas Corporation is a regulated utility and provides natural gas service to more than 1.9 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers in most of Arizona and Nevada, and parts of northeastern and southeastern California. Centuri Construction Group, Inc., is a full-service underground piping contractor that primarily provides utility companies with trenching and installation, replacement, and maintenance services for energy distribution systems, and develops industrial construction solutions. Centuri Construction Group Inc. operates in major markets across the United States and Canada. “

SWX has been the topic of a number of other research reports. UBS Group set a $91.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Gas and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, July 19th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. began coverage on shares of Southwest Gas in a research note on Wednesday, July 17th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $93.00 price objective on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas in a research note on Monday, June 10th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Southwest Gas from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. Finally, Williams Capital upgraded shares of Southwest Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $81.00 to $96.00 in a research note on Tuesday, June 18th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $89.00.

Shares of NYSE:SWX opened at $90.03 on Friday. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $89.62 and its two-hundred day moving average is $85.10. Southwest Gas has a 52 week low of $72.68 and a 52 week high of $91.93. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.75 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.46, a PEG ratio of 3.62 and a beta of 0.33. The company has a current ratio of 1.04, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.98.

Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.41 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by ($0.02). Southwest Gas had a net margin of 6.61% and a return on equity of 8.86%. The company had revenue of $713.01 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $289.70 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.44 EPS. Southwest Gas’s revenue was up 6.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Southwest Gas will post 3.91 EPS for the current year.

In related news, CEO John P. Hester sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.60, for a total transaction of $181,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 62,694 shares in the company, valued at $5,680,076.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Justin L. Brown bought 418 shares of Southwest Gas stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 11th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $86.20 per share, with a total value of $36,031.60. Following the completion of 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. 0.83% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of SWX. Quadrant Capital Group LLC boosted its stake in Southwest Gas by 189.9% in the 1st quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 400 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $32,000 after purchasing an additional 262 shares during the period. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Southwest Gas by 39.4% in the 2nd quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 407 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $36,000 after purchasing an additional 115 shares during the period. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. acquired a new position in Southwest Gas in the 1st quarter worth approximately $41,000. NEXT Financial Group Inc acquired a new position in Southwest Gas in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $47,000. Finally, Hanson McClain Inc. boosted its stake in Southwest Gas by 173.5% in the 1st quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 547 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $45,000 after purchasing an additional 347 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.07% of the company’s stock.

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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