The Zacks Investment Research Downgrades WGL Holdings Inc. (WGL) to Sell

The Zacks Investment Research Downgrades WGL Holdings Inc. (WGL) to Sell

WGL Holdings Inc. (NYSE:WGL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT CO is a public utility that delivers and sells natural gas to metropolitan Washington, D.C. and adjoining areas in Maryland and Virginia. A distribution subsidiary serves portions of Virginia and West Virginia. The Company has four wholly-owned active subsidiaries that include: Shenandoah Gas Company (Shenandoah) is engaged in the delivery and sale of natural gas at retail in the Shenandoah Valley, including Winchester, Middletown, Strasburg, Stephens City and New Market, Virginia, and Martinsburg, West Virginia. “

Shares of WGL Holdings (NYSE:WGL) opened at 59.35 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $3.03 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.78 and a beta of 0.57. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $62.87 and its 200 day moving average is $67.10. WGL Holdings has a 52 week low of $57.04 and a 52 week high of $74.10.

WGL Holdings (NYSE:WGL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.19. WGL Holdings had a net margin of 7.61% and a return on equity of 11.60%. The company had revenue of $440.60 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $482.57 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.22 earnings per share. WGL Holdings’s quarterly revenue was down .1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that WGL Holdings will post $3.17 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 1st. Investors of record on Monday, October 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.4875 per share. This represents a $1.95 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.29%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 5th. WGL Holdings’s payout ratio is currently 55.08%.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in WGL Holdings during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $33,327,000. State Street Corp raised its stake in WGL Holdings by 14.4% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 3,886,726 shares of the company’s stock valued at $275,140,000 after buying an additional 488,343 shares during the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its stake in WGL Holdings by 55.4% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 981,893 shares of the company’s stock valued at $71,060,000 after buying an additional 350,225 shares during the last quarter. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. acquired a new stake in WGL Holdings during the second quarter valued at approximately $15,191,000. Finally, Pictet Asset Management Ltd. raised its stake in WGL Holdings by 56.0% in the first quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 330,477 shares of the company’s stock valued at $22,535,000 after buying an additional 118,578 shares during the last quarter. 68.41% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About WGL Holdings

WGL Holdings, Inc (WGL Holdings), is a United States of America-based public utility holding. Through its wholly owned subsidiaries, it sells and delivers natural gas and provides energy-related products and services to customers primarily in the District of Columbia and the surrounding metropolitan areas in Maryland and Virginia.

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