Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX) was the target of a significant growth in short interest during the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 739,734 shares, a growth of 38.8% from the July 14th total of 532,874 shares. Approximately 1.6% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 355,109 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.1 days.

Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX) opened at 80.25 on Wednesday. Southwest Gas Corporation has a 52 week low of $64.26 and a 52 week high of $86.65. The company’s 50-day moving average is $78.33 and its 200-day moving average is $80.72. The company has a market cap of $3.82 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.85 and a beta of 0.60.

Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, August 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.37 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.28 by $0.09. Southwest Gas Corporation had a net margin of 6.46% and a return on equity of 9.09%. The business had revenue of $560.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $564.84 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.19 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Southwest Gas Corporation will post $3.41 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on SWX shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southwest Gas Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, April 22nd. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Southwest Gas Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “sell” rating and set a $68.00 target price on shares of Southwest Gas Corporation in a research note on Tuesday, May 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and five have issued a hold rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $80.50.

In related news, VP Kenneth J. Kenny sold 600 shares of Southwest Gas Corporation stock in a transaction on Friday, August 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.90, for a total transaction of $48,540.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 17,137 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,386,383.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Karen S. Haller sold 1,300 shares of Southwest Gas Corporation stock in a transaction on Friday, August 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.95, for a total transaction of $105,235.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 26,639 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,156,427.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.34% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC raised its position in shares of Southwest Gas Corporation by 14.4% in the first quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 1,268 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $106,000 after buying an additional 160 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its position in shares of Southwest Gas Corporation by 7.3% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,725 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $126,000 after buying an additional 118 shares during the period. Flinton Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Southwest Gas Corporation by 69.7% in the second quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 2,416 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $177,000 after buying an additional 992 shares during the period. Riverhead Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Southwest Gas Corporation by 74.8% in the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 2,797 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $204,000 after buying an additional 1,197 shares during the period. Finally, Jaffetilchin Investment Partners LLC bought a new position in shares of Southwest Gas Corporation during the first quarter valued at approximately $205,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 78.63% of the company’s stock.

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About Southwest Gas Corporation

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).

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