Wall Street analysts expect Northwest Natural Gas Co (NYSE:NWN) to post earnings of $0.04 per share for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Zero analysts have provided estimates for Northwest Natural Gas’ earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $0.08 and the lowest is ($0.01). Northwest Natural Gas posted earnings per share of $0.10 in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a negative year-over-year growth rate of 60%. The company is scheduled to announce its next quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 1st.

On average, analysts expect that Northwest Natural Gas will report full year earnings of $2.22 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.19 to $2.27. For the next fiscal year, analysts anticipate that the business will report earnings of $2.49 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.42 to $2.60. Zacks’ EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that cover Northwest Natural Gas.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 8th. The utilities provider reported $1.44 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.41 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $264.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $296.20 million. Northwest Natural Gas had a positive return on equity of 8.14% and a negative net margin of 7.46%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 11.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.40 EPS.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on NWN. Zacks Investment Research raised Northwest Natural Gas from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 10th. ValuEngine cut Northwest Natural Gas from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 9th. TheStreet raised Northwest Natural Gas from a “c” rating to a “b” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 8th. Bank of America began coverage on Northwest Natural Gas in a report on Tuesday, February 27th. They set an “underperform” rating on the stock. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co dropped their price objective on Northwest Natural Gas from $62.00 to $52.00 and set an “underperform” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, February 26th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, one has given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.00.

In other Northwest Natural Gas news, Director Malia H. Wasson purchased 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 27th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $53.84 per share, with a total value of $107,680.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 523 shares in the company, valued at approximately $28,158.32. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Company insiders own 1.19% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Profund Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 20.0% in the 1st quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 5,262 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $303,000 after acquiring an additional 876 shares in the last quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 23.1% in the 4th quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 5,068 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $302,000 after acquiring an additional 952 shares in the last quarter. Barclays PLC raised its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 13.6% in the 1st quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 8,777 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $506,000 after acquiring an additional 1,052 shares in the last quarter. Swiss National Bank raised its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 2.3% in the 4th quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 48,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,881,000 after acquiring an additional 1,100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers raised its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 1.7% in the 1st quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 72,610 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,186,000 after acquiring an additional 1,185 shares in the last quarter. 67.30% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NWN opened at $59.15 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $1.70 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.94, a P/E/G ratio of 6.15 and a beta of 0.35. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a current ratio of 0.76. Northwest Natural Gas has a 52-week low of $51.50 and a 52-week high of $69.50.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, May 15th. Investors of record on Monday, April 30th were issued a dividend of $0.4725 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, April 27th. This represents a $1.89 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.20%. Northwest Natural Gas’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 84.38%.

Northwest Natural Gas Company Profile

Northwest Natural Gas Company engages in gas distribution and storage businesses in the United States. It operates in two segments, Local Gas Distribution and Gas Storage. The Local Gas Distribution segment engages in the purchase, sale, and delivery of natural gas and related services to residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Oregon and southwest Washington.

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