Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) announced its earnings results on Tuesday. The utilities provider reported ($0.41) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.37) by ($0.04), Briefing.com reports. Northwest Natural Gas had a negative net margin of 8.10% and a positive return on equity of 8.03%. The business had revenue of $91.20 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $98.42 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned ($0.30) EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. Northwest Natural Gas updated its FY18 guidance to $2.10-2.30 EPS.
Shares of NWN stock opened at $67.62 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a current ratio of 0.61. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.87 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.19, a PEG ratio of 6.70 and a beta of 0.26. Northwest Natural Gas has a fifty-two week low of $51.50 and a fifty-two week high of $71.81.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 31st will be issued a $0.475 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 30th. This represents a $1.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.81%. This is a positive change from Northwest Natural Gas’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Northwest Natural Gas’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 84.82%.
A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on NWN. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Northwest Natural Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, October 10th. ValuEngine upgraded Northwest Natural Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 13th. Guggenheim reiterated a “sell” rating and set a $51.00 target price on shares of Northwest Natural Gas in a research report on Monday, July 23rd. Finally, TheStreet lowered Northwest Natural Gas from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 7th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. Northwest Natural Gas has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.60.
In other Northwest Natural Gas news, VP Jon G. Huddleston sold 3,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.60, for a total value of $222,600.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 2,870 shares in the company, valued at approximately $182,532. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO David A. Weber sold 7,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.08, for a total value of $455,560.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 2,296 shares in the company, valued at approximately $149,423.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 15,828 shares of company stock worth $1,021,543 in the last 90 days. 1.19% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in Northwest Natural Gas in the 2nd quarter valued at $128,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC increased its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 188.3% in the 2nd quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 2,266 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $145,000 after acquiring an additional 1,480 shares during the last quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas in the 2nd quarter worth $207,000. Becker Capital Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas in the 2nd quarter worth $212,000. Finally, Engineers Gate Manager LP acquired a new stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas in the 2nd quarter worth $216,000. Institutional investors own 67.97% of the company’s stock.
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About Northwest Natural Gas
Northwest Natural Holding Company, through its subsidiary, NW Natural Gas Company, operates as a regulated natural gas distribution company. The company serves approximately 740,000 natural gas customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington through 14,000 miles of pipeline systems in the United States.
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