News stories about Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) have been trending somewhat positive recently, Accern Sentiment Analysis reports. The research firm identifies negative and positive press coverage by monitoring more than twenty million blog and news sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Southwest Gas earned a daily sentiment score of 0.21 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave media coverage about the utilities provider an impact score of 46.7520576732915 out of 100, meaning that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the company’s share price in the next few days.

Here are some of the news headlines that may have effected Accern Sentiment Analysis’s rankings:

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on SWX shares. UBS Group raised Southwest Gas from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. Zacks Investment Research raised Southwest Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $90.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Friday, January 5th. Finally, Citigroup upped their price target on Southwest Gas from $79.00 to $82.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, November 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $81.50.

Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) opened at $69.26 on Friday. Southwest Gas has a 12 month low of $62.53 and a 12 month high of $86.87. The company has a market capitalization of $3,400.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.47 and a beta of 0.57. The company has a quick ratio of 0.81, a current ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.99.

Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 27th. The utilities provider reported $1.58 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.50 by $0.08. Southwest Gas had a return on equity of 10.00% and a net margin of 7.61%. The business had revenue of $740.43 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $705.70 million. sell-side analysts expect that Southwest Gas will post 3.59 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, May 15th will be paid a $0.52 dividend. This represents a $2.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.00%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, May 14th. This is a positive change from Southwest Gas’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.50. Southwest Gas’s dividend payout ratio is 52.80%.

In other news, SVP Eric Debonis sold 1,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.43, for a total value of $88,802.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 14,229 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $902,545.47. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.99% of the company’s stock.

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Southwest Gas Company Profile

Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc, formerly Southwest Gas Corporation, is engaged in the business of purchasing, distributing and transporting natural gas. 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).

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Southwest Gas (NYSE:SWX)

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