Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Saturday morning, 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. “

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. started coverage on Southwest Gas in a research report on Wednesday, July 17th. They set an overweight rating and a $93.00 price target on the stock. UBS Group set a $91.00 price target on Southwest Gas and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Friday, July 19th. Williams Capital raised Southwest Gas from a hold rating to a buy rating and upped their price target for the company from $81.00 to $96.00 in a research report on Tuesday, June 18th. ValuEngine lowered Southwest Gas from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, August 1st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co restated a hold rating on shares of Southwest Gas in a research note on Monday, June 10th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. Southwest Gas presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $89.00.

SWX stock opened at $88.90 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.04, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.98. The firm has a market cap of $4.89 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.16, a P/E/G ratio of 3.73 and a beta of 0.33. Southwest Gas has a 12-month low of $72.68 and a 12-month high of $91.93. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $89.66 and its 200 day simple moving average is $85.23.

Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 6th. The utilities provider reported $0.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $713.01 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $289.70 million. Southwest Gas had a net margin of 6.61% and a return on equity of 8.86%. The business’s revenue was up 6.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.44 earnings per share. On average, research analysts forecast that Southwest Gas will post 3.91 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 on Friday, June 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.60, for a total transaction of $181,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 62,694 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,680,076.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, VP Kenneth J. Kenny sold 500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.26, for a total value of $45,130.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 16,121 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,455,081.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 4,500 shares of company stock valued at $400,730. 0.83% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its stake in shares of Southwest Gas by 39.4% in the second quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 407 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $36,000 after purchasing an additional 115 shares in the last quarter. 6 Meridian grew its stake in shares of Southwest Gas by 2.1% in the second quarter. 6 Meridian now owns 6,175 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $553,000 after purchasing an additional 127 shares in the last quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. grew its stake in shares of Southwest Gas by 3.1% in the second quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 4,605 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $413,000 after purchasing an additional 140 shares in the last quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan grew its stake in shares of Southwest Gas by 1.6% in the second quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 9,810 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $879,000 after purchasing an additional 150 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Boston Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of Southwest Gas by 0.8% in the first quarter. Boston Advisors LLC now owns 21,148 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,740,000 after purchasing an additional 171 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.60% of the company’s stock.

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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