Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) saw a significant increase in short interest in the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 859,088 shares, an increase of 44.9% from the October 14th total of 592,948 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 230,285 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 3.7 days. Approximately 1.8% of the company’s shares are sold short.

Shares of Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) opened at 75.68 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.59 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.63 and a beta of 0.46. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $70.00 and a 200 day moving average of $72.24. Southwest Gas Corp. has a 52 week low of $50.53 and a 52 week high of $79.58.

Southwest Gas Corp. (NYSE:SWX) last posted its earnings results on Monday, November 7th. The company reported $0.05 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.01 by $0.04. Southwest Gas Corp. had a net margin of 6.11% and a return on equity of 9.26%. The firm had revenue of $539.97 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $528.36 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted ($0.03) EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Southwest Gas Corp. will post $3.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 15th will be paid a $0.45 dividend. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.38%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, February 13th. Southwest Gas Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 56.25%.

Several research firms have weighed in on SWX. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Southwest Gas Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. Citigroup Inc. raised their price objective on shares of Southwest Gas Corp. from $62.00 to $79.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Jefferies Group upgraded shares of Southwest Gas Corp. from an “underperform” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $65.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, October 13th. Finally, Argus restated a “hold” rating on shares of Southwest Gas Corp. in a report on Thursday, September 8th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $72.75.

In other Southwest Gas Corp. news, CFO Roy R. Centrella sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.54, for a total value of $71,540.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 31,618 shares in the company, valued at $2,261,951.72. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Kenneth J. Kenny sold 600 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.20, for a total transaction of $43,320.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 17,363 shares in the company, valued at $1,253,608.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.34% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. D.A. Davidson & CO. raised its stake in Southwest Gas Corp. by 2,452.7% in the third quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 12,585 shares of the company’s stock worth $879,000 after buying an additional 12,092 shares in the last quarter. LPL Financial LLC raised its stake in Southwest Gas Corp. by 4.3% in the third quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 3,421 shares of the company’s stock worth $224,000 after buying an additional 142 shares in the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its stake in Southwest Gas Corp. by 67.1% in the third quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 18,575 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,298,000 after buying an additional 7,460 shares in the last quarter. Tributary Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Southwest Gas Corp. by 0.4% in the third quarter. Tributary Capital Management LLC now owns 25,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,781,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Panagora Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in Southwest Gas Corp. by 217.6% in the third quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 36,569 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,555,000 after buying an additional 25,056 shares in the last quarter. 80.04% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Southwest Gas Corp. Company Profile

Southwest Gas Corporation is engaged in the business of purchasing, distributing and transporting natural gas in Arizona, Nevada and California. 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).

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SWX

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