Chicago Equity Partners LLC reduced its stake in Northwest Natural Gas Co (NYSE:NWN) by 89.4% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 3,865 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 32,565 shares during the period. Chicago Equity Partners LLC’s holdings in Northwest Natural Gas were worth $231,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of NWN. New York State Common Retirement Fund grew its stake in Northwest Natural Gas by 9.1% in the 2nd quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 31,100 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,861,000 after acquiring an additional 2,599 shares in the last quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP bought a new position in Northwest Natural Gas in the 2nd quarter worth about $318,000. Northern Trust Corp grew its stake in Northwest Natural Gas by 4.9% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 355,037 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $21,249,000 after acquiring an additional 16,547 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in Northwest Natural Gas by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,729,991 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $163,389,000 after acquiring an additional 26,107 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC grew its stake in Northwest Natural Gas by 5.7% in the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 119,818 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $7,171,000 after acquiring an additional 6,471 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 64.79% of the company’s stock.

In other news, Director Mark S. Dodson sold 1,036 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.05, for a total value of $58,067.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. 1.48% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of equities analysts have commented on NWN shares. Wells Fargo & Co downgraded shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Monday, December 18th. Royal Bank of Canada started coverage on shares of Northwest Natural Gas in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. They issued a “sector perform” rating and a $63.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Saturday, November 18th. Guggenheim downgraded shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. Finally, Sidoti cut shares of Northwest Natural Gas from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $63.00 price target for the company. in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $67.00.

Shares of Northwest Natural Gas Co (NYSE NWN) opened at $56.20 on Tuesday. Northwest Natural Gas Co has a 52-week low of $52.47 and a 52-week high of $69.50. The firm has a market cap of $1,610.80, a P/E ratio of 25.41, a PEG ratio of 5.48 and a beta of 0.33. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a current ratio of 0.98 and a quick ratio of 0.69.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 31st will be given a $0.4725 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 30th. This represents a $1.89 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.36%. Northwest Natural Gas’s payout ratio is presently 85.91%.

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

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