The Gory Details on Northwest Natural Gas's Double Fumble

Northwest Natural Gas (NYS: NWN) reported earnings on March 1. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Northwest Natural Gas missed estimates on revenues and missed estimates on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue shrank. GAAP earnings per share shrank.


Margins grew across the board.

Revenue details
Northwest Natural Gas reported revenue of $110.3 million. The three analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected to see a top line of $118.4 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 15% lower than the prior-year quarter's $271.2 million.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at $1.05. The six earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $1.10 per share. GAAP EPS of $1.05 for Q4 were 3.7% lower than the prior-year quarter's $1.09 per share.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 35.7%, 210 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 24.6%, 250 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 12.4%, 160 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $136.4 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.52.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $385.0 million. The average EPS estimate is $2.52.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 142 members out of 148 rating the stock outperform, and six members rating it underperform. Among 38 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 37 give Northwest Natural Gas a green thumbs-up, and one give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Northwest Natural Gas is hold, with an average price target of $45.25.

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The article The Gory Details on Northwest Natural Gas's Double Fumble originally appeared on Fool.com.

Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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