Northwest Natural Gas Company (NYSE:NWN) updated its FY17 earnings guidance on Friday. The company provided earnings per share (EPS) guidance of $2.05-2.25 for the period, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $2.15.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Northwest Natural Gas from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $68.00 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. BidaskClub upgraded Northwest Natural Gas from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, one has given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Northwest Natural Gas presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $66.00.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last issued its earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The utilities provider reported ($0.30) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.33) by $0.03. Northwest Natural Gas had a return on equity of 7.51% and a net margin of 8.38%. The business had revenue of $88.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $91.19 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.18 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 31st will be issued a $0.4725 dividend. This represents a $1.89 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.86%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, October 30th. This is a boost from Northwest Natural Gas’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Northwest Natural Gas’s dividend payout ratio is presently 85.52%.

In other Northwest Natural Gas news, Director Martha L. Byorum sold 1,202 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.88, for a total value of $77,985.76. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 1,202 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $77,985.76. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO David Hugo Anderson sold 8,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.97, for a total value of $535,760.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 71,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,787,283.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 13,202 shares of company stock valued at $879,666. Insiders own 1.48% 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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