Headlines about Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) have trended somewhat positive on Wednesday, according to Accern Sentiment Analysis. The research firm identifies positive and negative media coverage by monitoring more than 20 million blog and news sources. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Northwest Natural Gas earned a media sentiment score of 0.21 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned news coverage about the utilities provider an impact score of 46.599458907719 out of 100, indicating that recent media coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the near term.

These are some of the news articles that may have effected Accern’s analysis:

Several research analysts have weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Saturday, August 5th. Finally, Sidoti restated a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 price objective (up previously from $68.00) on shares of Northwest Natural Gas in a report on Monday, June 19th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $66.00.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE NWN) traded down 0.113% on Wednesday, reaching $66.025. 9,553 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The company has a market cap of $1.89 billion, a PE ratio of 29.541 and a beta of 0.43. Northwest Natural Gas has a 12 month low of $53.50 and a 12 month high of $66.20. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $63.20 and its 200 day moving average price is $60.79.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.10 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.06 by $0.04. Northwest Natural Gas had a return on equity of 7.51% and a net margin of 8.38%. The company had revenue of $136.24 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $78.51 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.07 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 37.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Northwest Natural Gas will post $2.19 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 31st were paid a $0.47 dividend. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.84%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 27th. Northwest Natural Gas’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 85.07%.

In other Northwest Natural Gas news, VP Shawn M. Filippi sold 1,200 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.27, for a total value of $74,724.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 1,330 shares in the company, valued at $82,819.10. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, VP Kimberly A. Heiting sold 2,700 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.58, for a total value of $166,266.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 4,807 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $296,015.06. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 6,224 shares of company stock valued at $384,376. 1.48% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN)

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