Aperio Group LLC raised its stake in Northwest Natural Gas Company (NYSE:NWN) by 10.4% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 26,214 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 2,461 shares during the period. Aperio Group LLC’s holdings in Northwest Natural Gas were worth $1,569,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other large investors have also modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 12,672.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,607,352 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $213,194,000 after buying an additional 3,579,109 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 4.7% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,703,884 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $159,800,000 after buying an additional 120,458 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 0.4% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 850,548 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $50,267,000 after buying an additional 3,198 shares during the period. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 4.9% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 700,195 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $41,379,000 after buying an additional 32,715 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 2.8% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 509,781 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $30,128,000 after buying an additional 14,121 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 63.61% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Northwest Natural Gas Company (NYSE NWN) traded down 1.38% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $64.45. 33,307 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.84 and a beta of 0.43. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $61.96 and its 200 day moving average price is $60.31. Northwest Natural Gas Company has a 52-week low of $53.50 and a 52-week high of $66.00.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate 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 firm had revenue of $136.24 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $78.51 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.07 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 37.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Northwest Natural Gas Company will post $2.19 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 31st will be issued a dividend of $0.47 per share. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.88%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 27th. Northwest Natural Gas’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 85.07%.

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Several equities research analysts have commented on NWN shares. BidaskClub cut shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 17th. Finally, Sidoti reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $75.00 price target (up from $68.00) on shares of Northwest Natural Gas in a research report on Monday, June 19th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $65.67.

In other Northwest Natural Gas news, VP Shawn M. Filippi sold 1,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.27, for a total transaction of $74,724.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 1,330 shares in the company, valued at $82,819.10. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CEO David A. Weber sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.56, for a total value of $123,120.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 2,027 shares in the company, valued at approximately $124,782.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 6,224 shares of company stock worth $384,376. Company insiders own 1.48% of the company’s stock.

Northwest Natural Gas Company Profile

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN)

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