Southwest Gas (SWX) Receiving Somewhat Positive News Coverage, Analysis Finds

Headlines about Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) have been trending somewhat positive recently, Accern reports. The research group rates the sentiment of press coverage by analyzing more than twenty million blog and news sources. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Southwest Gas earned a news impact score of 0.13 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned news articles about the utilities provider an impact score of 46.6746682637023 out of 100, indicating that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the immediate future.

Shares of Southwest Gas (SWX) traded down $0.07 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $82.67. 255,589 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 263,489. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 0.82 and a current ratio of 0.82. Southwest Gas has a 52 week low of $71.51 and a 52 week high of $86.87. The firm has a market cap of $3,980.83, a P/E ratio of 24.53, a P/E/G ratio of 3.78 and a beta of 0.61.

Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.21 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.07. Southwest Gas had a net margin of 6.64% and a return on equity of 9.56%. The business had revenue of $593.15 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $579.40 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.05 earnings per share. Southwest Gas’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.8% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts expect 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. Stockholders of record on Thursday, February 15th will be paid a $0.495 dividend. This represents a $1.98 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.40%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 14th. Southwest Gas’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 58.24%.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on SWX shares. KeyCorp restated a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas in a research report on Friday, October 20th. UBS increased their price objective on Southwest Gas from $83.00 to $85.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Gas in a research report on Thursday, August 31st. BidaskClub downgraded Southwest Gas from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Finally, Citigroup increased their price objective on Southwest Gas from $79.00 to $82.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, November 20th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and six have given a hold rating to the stock. Southwest Gas has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $81.25.

In related news, VP Gregory J. Peterson sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.72, for a total value of $85,720.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Eric Debonis sold 3,520 shares of the company’s 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 completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 16,060 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,319,810.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 5,120 shares of company stock worth $423,096 over the last ninety days. 0.99% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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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).

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX)

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