National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG) was upgraded by equities researchers at Jefferies Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Thursday.

A number of other analysts also recently commented on the company. Barclays PLC boosted their price objective on National Fuel Gas from $47.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 10th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded National Fuel Gas from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $60.67.

Analyst Recommendations for National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG)

Shares of National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) opened at 52.75 on Thursday. National Fuel Gas has a 52 week low of $37.03 and a 52 week high of $59.62. The firm’s market capitalization is $4.48 billion. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $55.83 and a 200-day moving average price of $55.00.

National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 5th. The company reported $0.68 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.03. National Fuel Gas had a positive return on equity of 13.87% and a negative net margin of 35.33%. The company earned $335.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $384.26 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.55 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that National Fuel Gas will post $2.96 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 30th will be given a dividend of $0.405 per share. This represents a $1.62 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.07%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 28th. National Fuel Gas’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently -26.60%.

In other news, Director Philip C. Ackerman sold 27,838 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.76, for a total transaction of $1,552,246.88. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 583,694 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $32,546,777.44. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director David F. Smith sold 48,983 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.64, for a total value of $2,774,397.12. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 214,507 shares in the company, valued at $12,149,676.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 3.25% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in NFG. Capstone Asset Management Co. raised its stake in shares of National Fuel Gas by 2.6% in the third quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 7,892 shares of the company’s stock worth $427,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. Fox Run Management L.L.C. bought a new stake in shares of National Fuel Gas during the third quarter worth about $422,000. Creative Planning raised its stake in shares of National Fuel Gas by 3.5% in the third quarter. Creative Planning now owns 17,047 shares of the company’s stock worth $922,000 after buying an additional 584 shares during the period. Nomura Holdings Inc. bought a new stake in shares of National Fuel Gas during the second quarter worth about $255,000. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of National Fuel Gas during the second quarter worth about $2,203,000. 62.45% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

National Fuel Gas Company Profile

National Fuel Gas Company is a holding company. The Company is an energy company engaged in the production, gathering, transportation, distribution and marketing of natural gas. The Company operates through five segments: Exploration and Production, including operations carried out through its subsidiary, Seneca Resources Corporation; Pipeline and Storage, including operations carried out through its subsidiaries, National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation and Empire Pipeline, Inc; Gathering, including operations carried out through subsidiaries of National Fuel Gas Midstream Corporation; Utility, including operations are carried out by through its subsidiary, Distribution Corporation, and Energy Marketing, including operations carried out through its subsidiary, National Fuel Resources, Inc The Company operates an integrated business, with assets centered in western New York and Pennsylvania.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:NFG

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