Northwest Natural Gas Company (NYSE:NWN) has been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the six analysts that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat.com reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, three have assigned a hold recommendation, one has assigned a buy recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. The average 1-year price target among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $62.00.

Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $68.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Sidoti reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $75.00 price target (up from $68.00) on shares of Northwest Natural Gas in a research note on Monday, June 19th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th.

In other Northwest Natural Gas news, VP Shawn M. Filippi sold 1,200 shares of Northwest Natural Gas stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.27, for a total transaction of $74,724.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 1,330 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $82,819.10. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO David A. Weber sold 2,000 shares of Northwest Natural Gas stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.56, for a total transaction of $123,120.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 2,027 shares in the company, valued at $124,782.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 6,224 shares of company stock worth $384,376 over the last ninety days. 1.48% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Creative Planning increased its position in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 0.3% in the second quarter. Creative Planning now owns 2,436 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $146,000 after buying an additional 8 shares during the period. Sharkey Howes & Javer increased its position in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 0.8% in the first quarter. Sharkey Howes & Javer now owns 2,200 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $130,000 after buying an additional 17 shares during the period. Peregrine Asset Advisers Inc. increased its position in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 1.3% in the second quarter. Peregrine Asset Advisers Inc. now owns 3,525 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $211,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the period. State of Alaska Department of Revenue increased its position in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 1.9% in the first quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 3,160 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $186,000 after buying an additional 60 shares during the period. Finally, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp increased its position in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 2.0% in the second quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp now owns 3,521 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $211,000 after buying an additional 68 shares during the period. 63.61% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE NWN) opened at 64.70 on Tuesday. Northwest Natural Gas has a one year low of $53.50 and a one year high of $66.00. The company has a market capitalization of $1.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.95 and a beta of 0.43. The company’s 50-day moving average is $62.14 and its 200 day moving average is $60.40.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.10 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.06 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $136.24 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $78.51 million. Northwest Natural Gas had a net margin of 8.38% and a return on equity of 7.51%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 37.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.07 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Northwest Natural Gas will post $2.19 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 31st will be paid a dividend of $0.47 per share. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.91%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 27th. Northwest Natural Gas’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 85.07%.

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Northwest Natural Gas Company Profile

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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