UPDATE: D.A. Davidson Reiterates Neutral Rating, Raises PT on Northwest Natural Gas
In a report published Monday, D.A. Davidson & Co. reiterated its Neutral rating on Northwest Natural Gas Company (NYSE: NWN), and raised its price target from $46.00 to $48.00.
D.A. Davidson noted, “Gas utility contributed EPS of $0.01 versus $0.21 (non-GAAP) in the year-ago quarter. Results were boosted in both periods by colder winter weather than normal (estimated at $0.06 versus $0.12). However, rising operating expenses pressured utility results lower for the quarter. With the utility's investment in gas reserves progressing smoothly, but little if any material impact expected from a retail rate increase this year (new rates should take effect on November 1st), we now expect 2012 earnings in this segment to total $2.26. We expect utility earnings to increase to $2.35 in 2013, driven by additional gas reserves (+$0.09), modest customer growth (+$0.02), higher retail rates (+$0.06), offset by an assumed return to normal weather (-$0.08).”
Northwest Natural Gas Company closed on Friday at $48.84.
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