Jefferies Group upgraded shares of National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Thursday. They currently have $67.00 price target on the stock, up from their prior price target of $60.00.
A number of other equities analysts have also issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered National Fuel Gas from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Barclays PLC raised their price target on National Fuel Gas from $47.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a 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 stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $61.83.
National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) traded up 0.80% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $54.15. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 67,687 shares. The firm’s market capitalization is $4.60 billion. National Fuel Gas has a 52 week low of $37.03 and a 52 week high of $59.62. The company’s 50-day moving average is $55.71 and its 200 day moving average is $54.99.
National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 5th. The company reported $0.68 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.03. National Fuel Gas had a positive return on equity of 13.87% and a negative net margin of 35.33%. The firm had revenue of $335.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $384.26 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.55 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that National Fuel Gas will post $2.96 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Investors of record on Friday, September 30th will be given a $0.405 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 28th. This represents a $1.62 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.02%. National Fuel Gas’s payout ratio is currently -26.60%.
In other news, COO John R. Pustulka sold 12,000 shares of National Fuel Gas 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 completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 65,077 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,812,210.66. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director David F. Smith sold 48,983 shares of National Fuel Gas 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 sale, the director now owns 214,507 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,149,676.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.25% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Aperio Group LLC increased its stake in National Fuel Gas by 1.1% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 24,640 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,233,000 after buying an additional 258 shares during the last quarter. Virginia Retirement System bought a new stake in National Fuel Gas during the first quarter worth about $485,000. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its stake in National Fuel Gas by 12.7% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 189,828 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,501,000 after buying an additional 21,438 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Advisors Inc. increased its stake in National Fuel Gas by 7.8% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors Inc. now owns 226,060 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,314,000 after buying an additional 16,385 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. increased its stake in National Fuel Gas by 8.7% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 417,660 shares of the company’s stock worth $20,904,000 after buying an additional 33,570 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 62.45% of the company’s stock.
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.
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