National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday. The firm presently has a $63.00 price target on the oil and gas producer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 13.51% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of National Fuel Gas have outperformed its industry over the past six months. The company continues to benefit from strong commodity price realization on Seneca’s production, and lower operating expenses. The company’s systematic capital expenditure helped it to strengthen operation and production in the Appalachian region. It is expanding its midstream operation to provide support by transporting and storing higher volume of natural gas. The company has a long history of rewarding its shareholders through dividend payments. However, adherence to stringent regulation relating to natural gas drilling, fluctuation in natural gas prices, weather variation in its service territories and competitive natural gas are headwinds. In addition, the rising interest rates will increase the cost of the ongoing capital projects, impacting margins.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. TheStreet upgraded National Fuel Gas from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 8th. US Capital Advisors restated an “overweight” rating on shares of National Fuel Gas in a research report on Tuesday, July 17th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $61.00.

NFG stock traded down $0.13 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $55.50. 1,089 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 404,619. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 0.89 and a quick ratio of 0.81. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.80 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.85, a PEG ratio of 3.43 and a beta of 0.79. National Fuel Gas has a 12 month low of $48.31 and a 12 month high of $59.90.

National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 2nd. The oil and gas producer reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $342.90 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $380.47 million. National Fuel Gas had a return on equity of 15.77% and a net margin of 25.09%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.69 EPS. research analysts expect that National Fuel Gas will post 3.39 EPS for the current year.

In related news, insider Ronald C. Kraemer sold 3,054 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.47, for a total value of $169,405.38. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 34,427 shares in the company, valued at $1,909,665.69. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Paula M. Ciprich sold 4,639 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.77, for a total value of $244,800.03. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 66,681 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,518,756.37. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.57% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of NFG. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd grew its position in National Fuel Gas by 1,961.5% in the first quarter. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd now owns 2,247 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $116,000 after acquiring an additional 2,138 shares during the last quarter. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc bought a new position in National Fuel Gas in the second quarter valued at about $137,000. Captrust Financial Advisors grew its position in National Fuel Gas by 49.0% in the second quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 3,018 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $161,000 after acquiring an additional 993 shares during the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. grew its position in National Fuel Gas by 41.2% in the first quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,831 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $197,000 after acquiring an additional 1,117 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Folger Nolan Fleming Douglas Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in National Fuel Gas in the second quarter valued at about $205,000. Institutional investors own 71.06% of the company’s stock.

National Fuel Gas Company Profile

National Fuel Gas Company operates as a diversified energy company. The company operates in five segments: Exploration and Production, Pipeline and Storage, Gathering, Utility, and Energy Marketing. The Exploration and Production segment explores for, develops, and produces natural gas and oil reserves in California in the Appalachian region of the United States.

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