OLD Republic International Corp increased its holdings in Northwest Natural Gas Co (NYSE:NWN) by 26.1% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 332,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 68,700 shares during the period. OLD Republic International Corp owned 1.16% of Northwest Natural Gas worth $19,804,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 43.3% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 163,412 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $10,523,000 after buying an additional 49,365 shares in the last quarter. US Bancorp DE raised its position in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 4.8% in the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 28,789 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,718,000 after buying an additional 1,315 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 11.6% in the third quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 204,001 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $13,138,000 after buying an additional 21,220 shares in the last quarter. OxFORD Asset Management LLP raised its position in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 69.1% in the third quarter. OxFORD Asset Management LLP now owns 13,693 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $889,000 after buying an additional 5,597 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan raised its position in Northwest Natural Gas by 44.7% during the third quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 12,910 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $831,000 after purchasing an additional 3,990 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 67.95% of the company’s stock.

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In related news, Director Malia H. Wasson acquired 2,000 shares of Northwest Natural Gas stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 27th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $53.84 per share, with a total value of $107,680.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 523 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $28,158.32. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Mark S. Dodson sold 1,036 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.05, for a total value of $58,067.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.48% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. TheStreet downgraded Northwest Natural Gas from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Friday, January 12th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Northwest Natural Gas from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Sidoti downgraded Northwest Natural Gas from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $63.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Bank of America assumed coverage on Northwest Natural Gas in a research report on Tuesday, February 27th. They set an “underperform” rating on the stock. Finally, Wells Fargo downgraded Northwest Natural Gas from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Monday, December 18th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $63.25.

Shares of Northwest Natural Gas stock opened at $56.25 on Thursday. Northwest Natural Gas Co has a 12-month low of $51.50 and a 12-month high of $69.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a current ratio of 0.71. The firm has a market capitalization of $1,615.84, a PE ratio of 25.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 6.36 and a beta of 0.42.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 23rd. The utilities provider reported $1.04 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.07. Northwest Natural Gas had a positive return on equity of 7.75% and a negative net margin of 7.30%. The business had revenue of $240.40 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $241.36 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.00 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts forecast that Northwest Natural Gas Co will post 2.21 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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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.

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

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