Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) Sets New 52-Week High at $74.33

Northwest Natural Holding Co (NYSE:NWN)’s stock price reached a new 52-week high on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $74.33 and last traded at $73.77, with a volume of 1180 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $73.34.

Several research firms recently issued reports on NWN. Wells Fargo & Co downgraded shares of Northwest Natural from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $66.00 price target for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, January 8th. Williams Capital raised shares of Northwest Natural from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 6th. Siebert Williams Shank raised shares of Northwest Natural from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, November 6th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Northwest Natural from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 30th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price objective on shares of Northwest Natural from $67.00 to $69.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a report on Friday, September 20th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. Northwest Natural has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $72.00.

The stock has a 50 day moving average of $71.20 and a 200-day moving average of $70.22. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.50 and a beta of 0.26. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 0.45 and a current ratio of 0.57.

Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 5th. The utilities provider reported ($0.63) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.53) by ($0.10). Northwest Natural had a net margin of 8.38% and a return on equity of 8.58%. The firm had revenue of $90.30 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $98.07 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.41) earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Northwest Natural Holding Co will post 2.35 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 14th. Investors of record on Friday, January 31st will be paid a $0.477 dividend. This represents a $1.91 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.60%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 30th. Northwest Natural’s dividend payout ratio is currently 81.97%.

In other news, Director Malia H. Wasson acquired 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 7th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $64.79 per share, for a total transaction of $64,790.00. Also, SVP Mardilyn Saathoff sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.15, for a total value of $365,750.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.14% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in NWN. FMR LLC increased its position in shares of Northwest Natural by 757.4% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 5,273 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $346,000 after buying an additional 4,658 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural by 25.8% in the second quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 11,471 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $797,000 after buying an additional 2,349 shares during the period. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural by 1.1% in the second quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 246,498 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $17,132,000 after buying an additional 2,648 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in Northwest Natural by 4.3% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 477,374 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $33,176,000 after acquiring an additional 19,472 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp raised its position in Northwest Natural by 3.6% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 380,709 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $26,459,000 after acquiring an additional 13,331 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.60% of the company’s stock.

Northwest Natural Company Profile (NYSE:NWN)

Northwest Natural Holding Company, through its subsidiary, Northwest Natural Gas Company, provides regulated natural gas distribution services to residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington. It is also involved in the gas storage activities, water businesses, and other investments and activities.

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