Principal Financial Group Inc. trimmed its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural Gas Company (NYSE:NWN) by 2.7% in the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 221,409 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 6,114 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned about 0.77% of Northwest Natural Gas worth $13,252,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other large investors have also modified their holdings of NWN. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its holdings in Northwest Natural Gas by 3.2% during the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 107,645 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $6,362,000 after buying an additional 3,295 shares in the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can boosted its holdings in Northwest Natural Gas by 7.0% during the first quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 40,273 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,378,000 after buying an additional 2,632 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in Northwest Natural Gas by 2.8% during the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 509,781 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $30,128,000 after buying an additional 14,121 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Bank boosted its holdings in Northwest Natural Gas by 4.4% during the first quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 31,694 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,914,000 after buying an additional 1,331 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Swiss National Bank boosted its holdings in Northwest Natural Gas by 4.2% during the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 47,200 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,790,000 after buying an additional 1,900 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 63.32% of the company’s stock.

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Shares of Northwest Natural Gas Company (NYSE NWN) opened at 65.20 on Thursday. The company has a 50 day moving average of $65.67 and a 200 day moving average of $61.64. The stock has a market cap of $1.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.17 and a beta of 0.42. Northwest Natural Gas Company has a 12 month low of $53.50 and a 12 month high of $68.60.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.06 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $136.24 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $78.51 million. Northwest Natural Gas had a net margin of 8.38% and a return on equity of 7.51%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 37.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.07 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Northwest Natural Gas Company will post $2.18 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, VP Lori L. Russell sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.93, for a total transaction of $133,860.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 3,512 shares in the company, valued at $235,058.16. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO David Hugo Anderson sold 8,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.97, for a total transaction of $535,760.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 71,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,787,283.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 12,000 shares of company stock valued at $801,680. Corporate insiders own 1.48% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts recently weighed in on NWN shares. BidaskClub cut shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 13th. Finally, Sidoti restated a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 target price (up from $68.00) on shares of Northwest Natural Gas in a report on Monday, June 19th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, one has issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $66.00.

Northwest Natural Gas 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.

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

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