* Q3 loss of $0.38/shr, wider than estimate of $-0.27
* Q3 revenue misses estimate by $9 mln
* Customer growth remained above national average
* Reaffirms 2008 EPS of $2.48-$2.63 * Still targets long-term EPS growth of 5 pct or more Nov 4 (Reuters) - Northwest Natural Gas Co (NWN.N) reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss, hurt by the seasonal nature of its business, but the natural gas distributor reaffirmed its 2008 profit view and long-term earnings growth target.
Results from utility operations are typically low during the third quarter due to reduced use of natural gas in the summer, the company said in a statement.
The company posted a wider third-quarter loss of $10.1 million, compared with a loss of $5.9 million a year earlier.
"Operating results for both our core utility and gas storage businesses were on target, and our liquidity position remains strong despite volatile national credit markets," Chief Executive Mark Dodson said in a statement.
Revenue and utility margins at the largest independent natural gas utility in the Pacific Northwest region fell 12 percent to $109.7 million and $39.3 million, respectively.
Shares of the Portland, Oregon-based company closed at $51.28 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.
For the press release, please double click [ID:nBw045300a] . For the alerts, please double click [ID:nWNAB7152] . (Reporting by Shradhha Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Himani Sarkar)