Northwest Natural Gas Company (NYSE:NWN) announced a quarterly dividend on Thursday, October 5th, RTT News reports. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 31st will be paid a dividend of 0.4725 per share by the utilities provider on Wednesday, November 15th. This represents a $1.89 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.91%. This is an increase from Northwest Natural Gas’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47.

Northwest Natural Gas has raised its dividend by an average of 0.9% annually over the last three years and has increased its dividend annually for the last 61 consecutive years. Northwest Natural Gas has a payout ratio of 86.6% meaning its dividend is currently covered by earnings, but may not be in the future if the company’s earnings tumble. Analysts expect Northwest Natural Gas to earn $2.29 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $1.88 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 82.1%.

Shares of Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) traded up 0.08% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $65.00. The company had a trading volume of 74,031 shares. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $65.73 and its 200-day moving average price is $62.15. The company has a market capitalization of $1.86 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.08 and a beta of 0.42. Northwest Natural Gas has a 12 month low of $53.50 and a 12 month high of $68.60.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 business earned $0.07 earnings per share. Northwest Natural Gas’s quarterly revenue was up 37.4% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Northwest Natural Gas will post $2.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Martha L. Byorum sold 1,202 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.88, for a total value of $77,985.76. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,202 shares in the company, valued at $77,985.76. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CEO David Hugo Anderson sold 8,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.97, for a total transaction of $535,760.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 71,484 shares in the company, valued at $4,787,283.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 13,202 shares of company stock worth $879,666 over the last 90 days. 1.48% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 13th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 5th. Finally, Sidoti reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 target price (up from $68.00) on shares of Northwest Natural Gas in a research report on Monday, June 19th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, one has assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $66.00.

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.

Dividend History for Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN)

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