Northwest Natural Gas Company (NYSE:NWN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. The firm currently has a $72.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 11.28% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “NW Natural is principally engaged in the distribution of natural gas. The Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) has allocated to NW Natural as its exclusive service area a major portion of western Oregon, including the Portland metropolitan area, most of the fertile Willamette Valley and the coastal area from Astoria to Coos Bay. NW Natural also holds certificates from the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) granting it exclusive rights to serve portions of three Washington counties bordering the Columbia River. “

A number of other research firms also recently commented on NWN. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 5th. Sidoti restated a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 price target (up from $68.00) on shares of Northwest Natural Gas in a research report on Monday, June 19th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $65.33.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE NWN) opened at 64.70 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $62.14 and its 200 day moving average is $60.40. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.85 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.95 and a beta of 0.43. Northwest Natural Gas has a 12 month low of $53.50 and a 12 month high of $66.00.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.10 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.06 by $0.04. Northwest Natural Gas had a net margin of 8.38% and a return on equity of 7.51%. The company had revenue of $136.24 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $78.51 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.07 EPS. Northwest Natural Gas’s revenue was up 37.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Northwest Natural Gas will post $2.19 earnings per share for the current year.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY WARNING: “Northwest Natural Gas Company (NYSE:NWN) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research” was originally reported by Watch List News and is the sole property of of Watch List News. If you are accessing this article on another site, it was illegally stolen and republished in violation of United States and international copyright & trademark law. The legal version of this article can be read at https://www.watchlistnews.com/northwest-natural-gas-company-nysenwn-upgraded-at-zacks-investment-research/1489442.html.

In other news, CEO David A. Weber sold 2,000 shares of Northwest Natural Gas stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 20th. The shares were 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 of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $124,782.12. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Shawn M. Filippi sold 1,200 shares of Northwest Natural Gas stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.27, for a total transaction of $74,724.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 1,330 shares in the company, valued at approximately $82,819.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 6,224 shares of company stock worth $384,376 over the last 90 days. 1.48% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in NWN. Nuance Investments LLC boosted its position in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 2.6% in the first quarter. Nuance Investments LLC now owns 44,135 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,608,000 after buying an additional 1,099 shares in the last quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 4.7% in the first quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 1,876 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 84 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 18.4% in the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 323,114 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $19,096,000 after buying an additional 50,320 shares in the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can boosted its position in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 7.0% in the first quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 40,273 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,378,000 after buying an additional 2,632 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its position in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 3.2% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 107,645 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,362,000 after buying an additional 3,295 shares in the last quarter. 63.61% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Northwest Natural Gas (NWN)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Receive News & Ratings for Northwest Natural Gas Company Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Northwest Natural Gas Company and related companies with Analyst Ratings Network's FREE daily email newsletter.