Northwest Natural Gas Company (NWN) Stock Rating Upgraded by BidaskClub

BidaskClub upgraded shares of Northwest Natural Gas Company (NYSE:NWN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Thursday, July 27th.

A number of other research analysts have also commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered Northwest Natural Gas from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Sidoti restated a buy rating and set a $75.00 price objective (up from $68.00) on shares of Northwest Natural Gas in a research report on Monday, June 19th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Northwest Natural Gas currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $65.33.

Shares of Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE NWN) opened at 64.80 on Thursday. Northwest Natural Gas has a 52-week low of $53.50 and a 52-week high of $66.00. The firm has a market cap of $1.86 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.99 and a beta of 0.43. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $62.34 and its 200-day moving average is $60.48.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.10 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.06 by $0.04. Northwest Natural Gas had a return on equity of 7.51% and a net margin of 8.38%. The company had revenue of $136.24 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $78.51 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.07 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 37.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Northwest Natural Gas will post $2.19 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 31st were given a dividend of $0.47 per share. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.90%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 27th. Northwest Natural Gas’s dividend payout ratio is presently 85.07%.

In other news, VP Kimberly A. Heiting sold 2,700 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.58, for a total transaction of $166,266.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 4,807 shares in the company, valued at $296,015.06. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Shawn M. Filippi sold 1,200 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.27, for a total value of $74,724.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 1,330 shares in the company, valued at $82,819.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 6,224 shares of company stock worth $384,376. 1.48% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 12,672.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,607,352 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $213,194,000 after buying an additional 3,579,109 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 1.0% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,729,991 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $163,389,000 after buying an additional 26,107 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 1.3% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 861,985 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $51,590,000 after buying an additional 11,437 shares during the period. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 5.1% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 736,047 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $44,053,000 after buying an additional 35,852 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 2.8% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 509,781 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $30,128,000 after buying an additional 14,121 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 63.61% of the company’s stock.

About Northwest Natural Gas

Northwest Natural Gas Company (NW Natural) is engaged in the distribution of natural gas. The Company’s segments include Local Gas Distribution, Gas Storage and other. The Company maintains operations in Oregon, Washington and California and conducts businesses through NW Natural and its subsidiaries.

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