Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) was downgraded by equities researchers at Sidoti from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report issued on Monday, Marketbeat reports. They presently have a $63.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock. Sidoti’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 9.66% from the company’s current price.

NWN has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered Northwest Natural Gas from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, September 30th. Wells Fargo & Co downgraded Northwest Natural Gas from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Monday, December 18th. Royal Bank of Canada assumed coverage on Northwest Natural Gas in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. They set a “sector perform” rating and a $63.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Guggenheim downgraded Northwest Natural Gas from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $67.00.

Shares of Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) traded down $0.75 during trading on Monday, hitting $57.45. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 214,500 shares, compared to its average volume of 231,617. Northwest Natural Gas has a one year low of $56.53 and a one year high of $69.50. The stock has a market cap of $1,670.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.11, a PEG ratio of 5.77 and a beta of 0.40. The company has a current ratio of 0.98, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The utilities provider reported ($0.30) earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.31) by $0.01. Northwest Natural Gas had a return on equity of 7.31% and a net margin of 8.32%. The company had revenue of $88.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $91.19 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.18 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Northwest Natural Gas will post 2.18 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NWN. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 5.7% during the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 182,781 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $10,940,000 after buying an additional 9,853 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 44.2% during the 2nd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 11,789 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $706,000 after buying an additional 3,615 shares during the last quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp increased its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 2.0% during the 2nd quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp now owns 3,521 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $211,000 after buying an additional 68 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 461,003 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $27,591,000 after buying an additional 5,726 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schroder Investment Management Group acquired a new stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas during the 2nd quarter worth $245,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 64.59% of the company’s stock.

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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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