Northwest Natural Gas (NWN) Cut to “Neutral” at Sidoti

Sidoti cut shares of Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report released on Monday, January 8th, MarketBeat reports. Sidoti currently has $63.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.

Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on NWN. Royal Bank of Canada started coverage on shares of Northwest Natural Gas in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. They issued a sector perform rating and a $63.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Saturday, September 30th. Guggenheim downgraded shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a neutral rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co downgraded shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a market perform rating to an underperform rating in a report on Monday, December 18th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $67.00.

Shares of Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE NWN) opened at $57.00 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a current ratio of 0.98. The stock has a market cap of $1,636.64, a P/E ratio of 25.91, a PEG ratio of 5.57 and a beta of 0.40. Northwest Natural Gas has a 12 month low of $55.70 and a 12 month high of $69.50.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last released its earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The utilities provider reported ($0.30) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.31) by $0.01. Northwest Natural Gas had a net margin of 8.32% and a return on equity of 7.31%. The firm had revenue of $88.20 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $91.19 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.18 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that Northwest Natural Gas will post 2.18 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 31st will be issued a dividend of $0.4725 per share. This represents a $1.89 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.32%. Northwest Natural Gas’s payout ratio is presently 85.91%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 2,063 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $123,000 after purchasing an additional 40 shares during the period. Peregrine Asset Advisers Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 1.3% in the 2nd quarter. Peregrine Asset Advisers Inc. now owns 3,525 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $211,000 after purchasing an additional 45 shares during the period. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp grew its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp now owns 3,521 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $211,000 after buying an additional 68 shares in the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. grew its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 6.4% in the 2nd quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 2,496 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $149,000 after buying an additional 150 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nationwide Fund Advisors grew its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 36,662 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,194,000 after buying an additional 170 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 64.60% of the company’s stock.

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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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