National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG) – Equities research analysts at Jefferies Group lifted their FY2016 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for National Fuel Gas in a note issued to investors on Thursday. Jefferies Group analyst C. Sighinolfi now forecasts that the firm will post earnings per share of $2.97 for the year, up from their previous forecast of $2.90. Jefferies Group has a “Buy” rating and a $67.00 price target on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for National Fuel Gas’ Q4 2016 earnings at $0.53 EPS, Q2 2017 earnings at $1.01 EPS, Q3 2017 earnings at $0.65 EPS, Q4 2017 earnings at $0.50 EPS and FY2020 earnings at $5.30 EPS.

NFG has been the topic of several other reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of National Fuel Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, July 5th. Argus restated a “hold” rating on shares of National Fuel Gas in a research report on Thursday. Finally, Barclays PLC upped their target price on shares of National Fuel Gas from $47.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 10th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.83.

Earnings History and Estimates for National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG)

Shares of National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) opened at 54.03 on Friday. National Fuel Gas has a 12-month low of $37.03 and a 12-month high of $59.62. The company’s market cap is $4.59 billion. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $55.59 and a 200-day moving average price of $55.02.

National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) last posted its earnings results on Friday, August 5th. The company reported $0.68 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.03. The business earned $335.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $384.26 million. National Fuel Gas had a positive return on equity of 13.87% and a negative net margin of 35.33%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.55 EPS.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in NFG. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. purchased a new position in shares of National Fuel Gas during the first quarter valued at about $130,000. Glenmede Trust Co. NA increased its position in shares of National Fuel Gas by 4.5% in the second quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 2,788 shares of the company’s stock valued at $157,000 after buying an additional 120 shares during the last quarter. Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Co. purchased a new position in shares of National Fuel Gas during the second quarter valued at about $205,000. Peapack Gladstone Financial Corp purchased a new position in shares of National Fuel Gas during the second quarter valued at about $213,000. Finally, Oakbrook Investments LLC purchased a new position in shares of National Fuel Gas during the second quarter valued at about $244,000. 62.45% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In related news, COO John R. Pustulka sold 12,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.58, for a total transaction of $702,960.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 65,077 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,812,210.66. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director David F. Smith sold 48,983 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.64, for a total transaction of $2,774,397.12. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 214,507 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,149,676.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 3.25% of the company’s stock.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 14th. Investors of record on Friday, September 30th were paid a dividend of $0.405 per share. This represents a $1.62 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.00%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, September 28th. National Fuel Gas’s payout ratio is -26.60%.

About National Fuel Gas

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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