Wall Street brokerages expect that Northwest Natural Gas Co (NYSE:NWN) will report earnings per share (EPS) of $0.06 for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Zero analysts have provided estimates for Northwest Natural Gas’ earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.05 and the highest estimate coming in at $0.08. Northwest Natural Gas posted earnings per share of $0.07 during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a negative year-over-year growth rate of 14.3%. The business is expected to announce its next earnings report on Tuesday, August 1st.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Northwest Natural Gas will report full-year earnings of $2.17 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.15 to $2.20. For the next year, analysts forecast that the firm will report earnings of $2.29 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.28 to $2.30. Zacks’ earnings per share calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that follow Northwest Natural Gas.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, May 8th. The utilities provider reported $1.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.41 by $0.01. Northwest Natural Gas had a return on equity of 7.87% and a net margin of 8.96%. The company had revenue of $297.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $147.56 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.40 earnings per share. Northwest Natural Gas’s revenue was up 16.4% compared to the same quarter last year.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research cut Northwest Natural Gas from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 2nd.

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Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE NWN) traded up 0.32% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $61.85. The company had a trading volume of 18,559 shares. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $60.07 and its 200 day moving average is $59.36. The company has a market capitalization of $1.77 billion, a PE ratio of 27.80 and a beta of 0.31. Northwest Natural Gas has a one year low of $53.50 and a one year high of $66.17.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, May 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, April 28th were paid a dividend of $0.47 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, April 26th. This represents a $1.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.05%. Northwest Natural Gas’s payout ratio is currently 85.84%.

In other news, CEO David A. Weber sold 575 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.49, for a total transaction of $33,056.75. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 26 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,494.74. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Lea Anne Doolittle sold 3,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total value of $185,600.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 1,930 shares in the company, valued at approximately $111,940. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 2.07% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NWN. Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its position in Northwest Natural Gas by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 54,827 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,279,000 after buying an additional 1,214 shares in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. acquired a new position in Northwest Natural Gas during the fourth quarter worth approximately $3,758,000. State Street Corp boosted its position in Northwest Natural Gas by 12.6% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 667,480 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $39,918,000 after buying an additional 74,506 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Bank boosted its position in Northwest Natural Gas by 9.3% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 30,363 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,787,000 after buying an additional 2,583 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank acquired a new position in Northwest Natural Gas during the fourth quarter worth approximately $24,552,000. 59.63% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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