Northwest Natural Gas Co. (NYSE:NWN) shares traded down 2.4% during mid-day trading on Friday . The company traded as low as $60.22 and last traded at $60.22, with a volume of 74,386 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $61.70.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Northwest Natural Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price for the company in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Hilliard Lyons cut Northwest Natural Gas from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 26th.

The firm has a market cap of $1.66 billion and a P/E ratio of 26.86. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $63.65 and its 200-day moving average price is $57.03.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.07 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.06 by $0.01. The business earned $99.20 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $111.12 million. The company’s revenue was down 28.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.08 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Northwest Natural Gas Co. will post $2.08 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, August 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, July 29th were issued a $0.4675 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, July 27th. This represents a $1.87 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.10%.

In other news, CEO Gregg S. Kantor sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.16, for a total transaction of $59,160.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 44,210 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,615,463.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Lea Anne Doolittle sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.63, for a total value of $172,890.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 3,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $172,890. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

An institutional investor recently raised its position in Northwest Natural Gas stock. US Bancorp DE boosted its position in Northwest Natural Gas Co. (NYSE:NWN) by 10.6% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 23,010 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 2,199 shares during the period. US Bancorp DE owned approximately 0.08% of Northwest Natural Gas worth $1,164,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

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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