Northwest Natural Gas Company (NYSE:NWN) CEO David Hugo Anderson sold 8,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.97, for a total value of $535,760.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 71,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,787,283.48. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink.

Northwest Natural Gas Company (NYSE:NWN) traded up 0.45% on Thursday, reaching $67.30. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 79,792 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $1.93 billion, a PE ratio of 30.11 and a beta of 0.42. Northwest Natural Gas Company has a one year low of $53.50 and a one year high of $67.70. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $64.53 and a 200-day moving average of $61.21.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.10 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.06 by $0.04. Northwest Natural Gas had a net margin of 8.38% and a return on equity of 7.51%. The company had revenue of $136.24 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $78.51 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.07 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 37.4% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Northwest Natural Gas Company will post $2.18 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 31st were issued a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.79%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 27th. Northwest Natural Gas’s payout ratio is 85.07%.

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A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of NWN. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in 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 valued at $213,194,000 after purchasing an additional 3,579,109 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Northwest Natural Gas by 4.7% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,703,884 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $159,800,000 after purchasing an additional 120,458 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its holdings in Northwest Natural Gas by 22.0% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 404,900 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $23,930,000 after purchasing an additional 73,000 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its holdings in Northwest Natural Gas by 31.8% in the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 297,119 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $17,558,000 after purchasing an additional 71,679 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Asset Management One Co. Ltd. purchased a new stake in Northwest Natural Gas in the first quarter valued at $3,180,000. 63.46% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Northwest Natural Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday. BidaskClub raised Northwest Natural Gas from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, August 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Northwest Natural Gas currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $66.00.

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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN)

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