Southwest Gas (SWX) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Sell”

Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday, 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 research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. UBS Group downgraded Southwest Gas from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $88.00 to $89.00 in a research note on Friday, March 29th. ValuEngine upgraded Southwest Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 19th. Williams Capital reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas in a research note on Monday, March 18th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co increased their price target on Southwest Gas from $83.00 to $87.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, March 1st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. Southwest Gas presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $83.33.

Shares of Southwest Gas stock traded down $0.77 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $82.64. 351 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 265,683. Southwest Gas has a 12-month low of $70.30 and a 12-month high of $85.97. The firm has a market cap of $4.46 billion, a PE ratio of 22.46, a P/E/G ratio of 3.51 and a beta of 0.37. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94, a current ratio of 0.89 and a quick ratio of 0.89.

Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, February 27th. The utilities provider reported $1.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.53 by ($0.17). Southwest Gas had a net margin of 6.33% and a return on equity of 9.11%. The business had revenue of $786.65 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $375.47 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $2.00 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.2% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Southwest Gas will post 3.88 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Paul M. Daily bought 325 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 19th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $83.00 per share, for a total transaction of $26,975.00. Following the purchase, the insider now directly owns 325 shares in the company, valued at $26,975. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Eric Debonis bought 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 15th. The stock was bought at an average price of $82.67 per share, with a total value of $165,340.00. Following the purchase, the senior vice president now owns 11,150 shares in the company, valued at $921,770.50. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 0.83% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Sageworth Trust Co purchased a new stake in shares of Southwest Gas in the 1st quarter valued at about $25,000. Private Capital Group LLC raised its holdings in shares of Southwest Gas by 32.9% in the 4th 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. Westpac Banking Corp purchased a new position in shares of Southwest Gas during the 4th quarter valued at about $57,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Southwest Gas during the 4th quarter valued at about $63,000. Finally, Point72 Hong Kong Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Southwest Gas during the 3rd quarter valued at about $110,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.02% 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.

Featured Story: How to track put option volume

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Southwest Gas (SWX)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX)

Receive News & Ratings for Southwest Gas Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Southwest Gas and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.