Southwest Gas (SWX) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

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

Several other analysts have also issued reports on SWX. UBS Group lowered Southwest Gas from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $88.00 to $89.00 in a report on Friday, March 29th. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas in a report on Friday, May 10th. ValuEngine raised Southwest Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 19th. Finally, Williams Capital reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas in a report on Monday, March 18th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $84.33.

NYSE:SWX opened at $84.24 on Friday. Southwest Gas has a 52-week low of $70.34 and a 52-week high of $85.97. 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 stock has a market cap of $4.57 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.89, a P/E/G ratio of 3.55 and a beta of 0.37.

Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.77 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.58 by $0.19. Southwest Gas had a return on equity of 9.34% and a net margin of 6.69%. The business had revenue of $807.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $516.97 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.63 earnings per share. Southwest Gas’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.0% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Southwest Gas will post 3.91 EPS for the current year.

In other news, SVP Eric Debonis sold 1,400 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.68, for a total value of $117,152.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 12,464 shares in the company, valued at $1,042,987.52. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO John P. Hester sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.46, for a total value of $170,920.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 66,694 shares in the company, valued at $5,699,669.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 5,450 shares of company stock worth $459,207 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.83% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Private Capital Group LLC lifted its position in shares of Southwest Gas by 32.9% in the fourth quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 562 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $43,000 after acquiring an additional 139 shares in the last quarter. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. lifted its position in shares of Southwest Gas by 2.9% in the fourth quarter. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. now owns 5,016 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $384,000 after buying an additional 140 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Southwest Gas by 4.6% in the first quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 3,583 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $295,000 after buying an additional 157 shares in the last quarter. Boston Advisors LLC lifted its position 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 buying an additional 171 shares in the last quarter. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Southwest Gas by 4.0% in the fourth quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 5,812 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $444,000 after buying an additional 226 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 84.99% 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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