NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- National Fuel Gas (NFG) has been initiated with a "buy" rating and $79 price target, Jefferies said Wednesday. The firm said the company offers a secure and growing dividend, significant leverage to LT Appalachian E&P and midstream opportunities, and potential for MLP formation.
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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates NATIONAL FUEL GAS CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate NATIONAL FUEL GAS CO (NFG) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- NFG's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 21.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- NATIONAL FUEL GAS CO has improved earnings per share by 19.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, NATIONAL FUEL GAS CO increased its bottom line by earning $3.09 versus $2.64 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.34 versus $3.09).
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Gas Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 21.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $67.94 million to $82.25 million.
- 46.12% is the gross profit margin for NATIONAL FUEL GAS CO which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 14.95% is above that of the industry average.
- Net operating cash flow has increased to $176.69 million or 21.05% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 0.91%.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: NFG Ratings Report