Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Piedmont Natural Gas Co. (NYSE:PNY) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Thursday morning. The brokerage currently has $67.00 price objective on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Piedmont Natural Gas Co, Inc., is an energy and services company engaged in the transportation and sale of natural gas and the sale of propane to residential, commercial and industrial customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The Company is the second-largest natural gas utility in the southeast. The Company and its non-utility subsidiaries and divisions are also engaged in acquiring, marketing and arranging for the transportation and storage of natural gas for large-volume purchasers, and in the sale of propane to customers in the Company’s three-state service area. “
Shares of Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE:PNY) opened at 59.97 on Thursday. Piedmont Natural Gas has a 12-month low of $39.10 and a 12-month high of $60.35. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $60.02 and a 200 day moving average price of $59.91. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.53 and a beta of 0.87.
Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE:PNY) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, September 7th. The company reported ($0.07) EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.09) by $0.02. The company had revenue of $157.80 million for the quarter. Piedmont Natural Gas had a return on equity of 10.50% and a net margin of 12.20%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down .3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Piedmont Natural Gas will post $1.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a special dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 13th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 23rd will be issued a $0.34 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, December 21st. This represents a dividend yield of 2.26%. Piedmont Natural Gas’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 79.07%.
In other news, insider Kevin M. Ohara sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.78, for a total value of $298,900.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 68,571 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,099,174.38. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Kenneth T. Valentine sold 886 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.77, for a total value of $52,956.22. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 22,481 shares in the company, valued at $1,343,689.37. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.40% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Synovus Financial Corp increased its stake in shares of Piedmont Natural Gas by 0.6% in the second quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 1,938 shares of the company’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 12 shares during the last quarter. SevenBridge Financial Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of Piedmont Natural Gas during the second quarter valued at approximately $123,000. LS Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Piedmont Natural Gas by 2.9% in the second quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 2,892 shares of the company’s stock valued at $174,000 after buying an additional 82 shares during the last quarter. HL Financial Services LLC bought a new stake in shares of Piedmont Natural Gas during the second quarter valued at approximately $201,000. Finally, Jane Street Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of Piedmont Natural Gas during the second quarter valued at approximately $210,000. Institutional investors own 61.51% of the company’s stock.
Piedmont Natural Gas Company Profile
Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc is an energy services company. The Company’s principal business is the distribution of natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial and power generation customers in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, including customers served by municipalities, which are its wholesale customers.
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