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NW Natural posts 2017 earnings increase from customer growth, colder weather

Northwest Natural Gas Co., which does business as NW Natural, on Feb. 23 reported adjusted net income of $29.9 million, or $1.04 per share, for the fourth quarter, up from $28.3 million, or $1.00 per share, a year ago.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized earnings estimate for the fourth quarter was 98 cents per share.

The company reported a GAAP net loss of $90.2 million, or $3.14 per share, compared with $28.3 million, or $1.00 per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Operating revenue was $240.4 million, compared with $233.5 million a year earlier. Net utility margin was $123.5 million, versus $119.6 million in the same quarter a year ago.

For the full year, NW Natural reported an adjusted net income of $64.5 million, or $2.24 per share, compared with $60.9 million, or $2.19 per share, in the previous year. The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the year was $2.18.

GAAP net loss for the year was $55.6 million, or $1.94 per share, compared with net income of $58.9 million, or $2.12 per share, a year earlier.

NW Natural credited the increase in full-year adjusted net income to strong natural gas utility segment results due to the utility's highest customer growth in a decade, as well as additional margin from colder weather in 2017.

The company expects full-year 2018 adjusted net income in the range of $2.10 per share to $2.30 per share. The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS guidance for the year is $2.27.