Brokerages Expect Northwest Natural Gas Co (NWN) Will Post Earnings of $0.04 Per Share

Wall Street analysts expect Northwest Natural Gas Co (NYSE:NWN) to announce earnings per share (EPS) of $0.04 for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research 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 reported earnings per share of $0.10 during the same quarter last year, which indicates a negative year-over-year growth rate of 60%. The business is scheduled to issue 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 fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.19 to $2.27. For the next fiscal year, analysts anticipate that the company will post earnings of $2.49 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.42 to $2.60. Zacks’ earnings per share averages are an average based on a survey of research analysts that that provide coverage for Northwest Natural Gas.

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

Several research firms have commented on NWN. Zacks Investment Research raised Northwest Natural Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $66.00 target price on the stock in a report on Thursday. TheStreet raised Northwest Natural Gas from a “c” rating to a “b” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 8th. ValuEngine downgraded Northwest Natural Gas from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 9th. Wells Fargo & Co raised Northwest Natural Gas from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $52.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, March 5th. Finally, Hilliard Lyons raised Northwest Natural Gas from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 27th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, one has given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Northwest Natural Gas has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.00.

In related news, Director Malia H. Wasson bought 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 27th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $53.84 per share, with a total value of $107,680.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 523 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $28,158.32. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders own 1.19% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of NWN. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 2.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,848,376 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $221,861,000 after purchasing an additional 100,659 shares during the last quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. raised its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 758.1% in the fourth quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 106,400 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $5,285,000 after purchasing an additional 94,000 shares during the last quarter. OLD Republic International Corp raised its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 26.1% in the fourth quarter. OLD Republic International Corp now owns 332,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $19,804,000 after purchasing an additional 68,700 shares during the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 20.1% in the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 403,053 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $24,042,000 after purchasing an additional 67,493 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Assenagon Asset Management S.A. purchased a new position in shares of Northwest Natural Gas in the fourth quarter worth $3,946,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 67.30% of the company’s stock.

Northwest Natural Gas traded up $0.15, hitting $59.05, during mid-day trading on Thursday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The company had a trading volume of 100,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 162,597. The company has a current ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89. Northwest Natural Gas has a 12 month low of $51.50 and a 12 month high of $69.50. The company has a market capitalization of $1.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 6.10 and a beta of 0.35.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, May 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, April 30th were issued a $0.4725 dividend. This represents a $1.89 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.20%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, April 27th. 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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