Vista Capital Partners Inc. Lowers Stake in Northwest Natural Gas Co (NWN)

Vista Capital Partners Inc. reduced its stake in shares of Northwest Natural Gas Co (NYSE:NWN) by 14.5% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 12,636 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 2,150 shares during the period. Northwest Natural Gas makes up approximately 0.2% of Vista Capital Partners Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 17th biggest holding. Vista Capital Partners Inc.’s holdings in Northwest Natural Gas were worth $845,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of NWN. Cornerstone Wealth Management LLC lifted its position in Northwest Natural Gas by 7,040.5% during the second quarter. Cornerstone Wealth Management LLC now owns 413,580 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,417,000 after purchasing an additional 407,788 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in Northwest Natural Gas by 6.4% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,093,462 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $261,163,000 after purchasing an additional 245,086 shares during the period. WINTON GROUP Ltd acquired a new position in Northwest Natural Gas during the third quarter valued at $7,071,000. Confluence Investment Management LLC acquired a new position in Northwest Natural Gas during the third quarter valued at $5,991,000. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its position in Northwest Natural Gas by 12.6% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 637,600 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $40,679,000 after purchasing an additional 71,300 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 67.97% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Guggenheim restated a “sell” rating and set a $51.00 target price on shares of Northwest Natural Gas in a research report on Monday, July 23rd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 17th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 8th. Finally, TheStreet downgraded shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 7th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $61.60.

Shares of Northwest Natural Gas stock opened at $68.00 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.36, a PEG ratio of 6.98 and a beta of 0.26. Northwest Natural Gas Co has a fifty-two week low of $51.50 and a fifty-two week high of $71.81. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.98, a current ratio of 0.57 and a quick ratio of 0.46.

Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 6th. The utilities provider reported ($0.41) earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.37) by ($0.04). The firm had revenue of $91.20 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $98.42 million. Northwest Natural Gas had a positive return on equity of 7.97% and a negative net margin of 8.52%. The company’s revenue was up 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted ($0.30) EPS. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Northwest Natural Gas Co will post 2.24 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 31st will be given a $0.475 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 30th. This represents a $1.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.79%. This is an increase from Northwest Natural Gas’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.47. Northwest Natural Gas’s dividend payout ratio is 84.82%.

In other Northwest Natural Gas news, VP Jon G. Huddleston sold 3,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.60, for a total value of $222,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 2,870 shares in the company, valued at $182,532. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO David A. Weber sold 7,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.08, for a total transaction of $455,560.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 2,296 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $149,423.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 15,500 shares of company stock valued at $1,000,640. Insiders own 1.19% of the company’s stock.

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About Northwest Natural Gas

Northwest Natural Holding Company, through its subsidiary, NW Natural Gas Company, operates as a regulated natural gas distribution company. The company serves approximately 740,000 natural gas customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington through 14,000 miles of pipeline systems in the United States.

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

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