Shares of Northwest Natural Gas Co. (NYSE:NWN) gapped up before the market opened on Tuesday . The stock had previously closed at $60.70, but opened at $60.85. Northwest Natural Gas shares last traded at $61.23, with a volume of 22,885 shares.

Several analysts have weighed in on NWN shares. Hilliard Lyons cut shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 26th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, July 6th.

The firm has a 50 day moving average of $61.39 and a 200 day moving average of $58.07. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.20 and a beta of 0.37.

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Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.07 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.06 by $0.01. The company earned $99.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $111.12 million. Northwest Natural Gas had a net margin of 9.09% and a return on equity of 8.09%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 28.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.08 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that Northwest Natural Gas Co. will post $2.08 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CEO Gregg S. Kantor sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.91, for a total value of $63,910.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 43,410 shares in the company, valued at $2,774,333.10. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. 2.07% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Acrospire Investment Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas during the second quarter valued at approximately $123,000. Advisor Group Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas during the second quarter valued at approximately $137,000. Sharkey Howes & Javer increased its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 0.8% in the second quarter. Sharkey Howes & Javer now owns 2,148 shares of the company’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 17 shares in the last quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas during the second quarter valued at approximately $162,000. Finally, Neuberger Berman Group LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas during the second quarter valued at approximately $204,000. Institutional investors own 61.07% of the company’s stock.

Northwest Natural Gas Company Profile

Northwest Natural Gas Company 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. The local gas distribution business, referred to as the utility segment, serves residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Oregon and southwest Washington.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:NWN

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