Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) was downgraded by research analysts at TheStreet from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

NWN has been the subject of several other reports. Royal Bank of Canada started coverage on shares of Northwest Natural Gas in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. They issued a “sector perform” rating and a $63.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, September 30th. Guggenheim lowered shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Wells Fargo & Co lowered shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Monday, December 18th. Finally, Sidoti lowered shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $63.00 target price for the company. in a report on Monday, January 8th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $67.00.

Shares of Northwest Natural Gas (NWN) opened at $57.00 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.69, a current ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89. Northwest Natural Gas has a 1-year low of $55.70 and a 1-year high of $69.50. The company has a market cap of $1,636.64, a PE ratio of 25.91, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 5.57 and a beta of 0.40.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, November 3rd. The utilities provider reported ($0.30) EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.31) by $0.01. Northwest Natural Gas had a net margin of 8.32% and a return on equity of 7.31%. The business had revenue of $88.20 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $91.19 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.18 earnings per share. Northwest Natural Gas’s quarterly revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that Northwest Natural Gas will post 2.18 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Mark S. Dodson sold 1,036 shares of Northwest Natural Gas stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.05, for a total transaction of $58,067.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 1.48% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NWN. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 12,672.6% during 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. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $21,579,000. Bessemer Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 225.2% during the third quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 359,343 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $23,141,000 after acquiring an additional 248,857 shares in the last quarter. AHL Partners LLP bought a new stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas during the second quarter valued at approximately $12,690,000. Finally, Numeric Investors LLC increased its position in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 2,042.5% during the second quarter. Numeric Investors LLC now owns 203,534 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $13,193,000 after acquiring an additional 194,034 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.60% of the company’s stock.

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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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