Today: The Northwest Natural Gas Co. (NWN) Given Average Recommendation of “Sell” by Brokerages

The Northwest Natural Gas Co. (NWN) Given Average Recommendation of “Sell” by Brokerages

Northwest Natural Gas Co. (NYSE:NWN) has been assigned a consensus broker rating score of 4.00 (Sell) from the five analysts that provide coverage for the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a strong sell rating, one has assigned a sell rating and two have issued a hold rating on the company.

Brokers have set a 12-month consensus price target of $50.00 for the company and are forecasting that the company will post ($0.28) earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Northwest Natural Gas an industry rank of 93 out of 265 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Northwest Natural Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, July 6th.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of NWN. Creative Planning raised its stake in Northwest Natural Gas by 19.3% in the third quarter. Creative Planning now owns 1,852 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in Northwest Natural Gas during the second quarter valued at $123,000. Advisor Group Inc. bought a new stake in Northwest Natural Gas during the second quarter valued at $137,000. Sharkey Howes & Javer raised its stake in Northwest Natural Gas by 0.8% in the second quarter. Sharkey Howes & Javer now owns 2,148 shares of the company’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 17 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Perigon Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Northwest Natural Gas during the second quarter valued at $162,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.10% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) opened at 57.20 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $1.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.51 and a beta of 0.36. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $59.03 and its 200 day moving average price is $59.30. Northwest Natural Gas has a 52 week low of $45.38 and a 52 week high of $66.17.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.07 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.06 by $0.01. Northwest Natural Gas had a return on equity of 8.09% and a net margin of 9.09%. The business earned $99.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $111.12 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.08 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 28.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Northwest Natural Gas will post $2.08 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 15th. Investors of record on Monday, October 31st will be paid a dividend of $0.47 per share. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.29%. This is a positive change from Northwest Natural Gas’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 27th. Northwest Natural Gas’s payout ratio is currently 83.93%.

About Northwest Natural Gas

Northwest Natural Gas Company 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. The local gas distribution business, referred to as the utility segment, serves residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Oregon and southwest Washington.

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