Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. Boosts Stake in Northwest Natural Gas Company (NYSE:NWN)

Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in Northwest Natural Gas Company (NYSE:NWN) by 10.6% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 172,928 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 16,595 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. owned 0.60% of Northwest Natural Gas worth $10,221,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other large investors have also modified their holdings of the company. First Trust Advisors LP raised its stake 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 during the period. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can raised its stake 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 during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its stake 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 during the period. Hennessy Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 2.2% in the first quarter. Hennessy Advisors Inc. now owns 241,403 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $14,267,000 after buying an additional 5,117 shares during the period. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC raised its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas by 2.1% in the first quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 10,318 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $610,000 after buying an additional 210 shares during the period. 63.61% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Northwest Natural Gas Company (NYSE NWN) opened at 64.30 on Friday. Northwest Natural Gas Company has a 52-week low of $53.50 and a 52-week high of $66.00. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $62.04 and its 200 day moving average price is $60.35. The firm has a market cap of $1.84 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.77 and a beta of 0.43.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last released its 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 return on equity of 7.51% and a net margin of 8.38%. The company had revenue of $136.24 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $78.51 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.07 EPS. Northwest Natural Gas’s quarterly revenue was up 37.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Northwest Natural Gas Company will post $2.19 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 31st will be issued a dividend of $0.47 per share. This represents a $1.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.92%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 27th. Northwest Natural Gas’s dividend payout ratio is presently 85.07%.

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Several brokerages have recently weighed in on NWN. BidaskClub raised Northwest Natural Gas from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 5th. Zacks Investment Research raised Northwest Natural Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, August 4th. Finally, Sidoti reissued a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 target price (up previously from $68.00) on shares of Northwest Natural Gas in a research report on Monday, June 19th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, one has given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Northwest Natural Gas currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $65.67.

In other news, VP Kimberly A. Heiting sold 2,700 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.58, for a total transaction of $166,266.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 4,807 shares in the company, valued at approximately $296,015.06. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Shawn M. Filippi sold 1,200 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.27, for a total value of $74,724.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 1,330 shares in the company, valued at $82,819.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 6,224 shares of company stock worth $384,376. 1.48% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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.

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

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