Brokerages Set Northwest Natural Holding (NYSE:NWN) Target Price at $52.50


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Shares of Northwest Natural Holding (NYSE:NWN) have received an average recommendation of “Hold” from the seven brokerages that are presently covering the stock, Marketbeat.com reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, two have given a hold recommendation and two have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month target price among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $52.50.

Several research firms recently commented on NWN. TheStreet raised Northwest Natural from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 10th. Williams Capital reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Northwest Natural in a research note on Friday, April 23rd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Northwest Natural from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 29th.

Shares of NYSE:NWN traded down $0.36 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $54.04. The stock had a trading volume of 114,748 shares, compared to its average volume of 342,552. Northwest Natural has a 52 week low of $41.71 and a 52 week high of $66.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 0.36 and a current ratio of 0.44. The firm’s fifty day moving average is $53.84 and its 200 day moving average is $48.83. The stock has a market cap of $1.66 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.89, a P/E/G ratio of 5.63 and a beta of 0.44.

Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 25th. The utilities provider reported $1.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.49 by $0.01. Northwest Natural had a net margin of 8.08% and a return on equity of 7.17%. The business had revenue of $260.30 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $272.82 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.20 earnings per share. Northwest Natural’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts forecast that Northwest Natural will post 2.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 14th. Investors of record on Friday, April 30th will be issued a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.55%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 29th. Northwest Natural’s dividend payout ratio is currently 87.67%.

In related news, VP Shawn M. Filippi sold 600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.23, for a total value of $28,938.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 2,211 shares in the company, valued at approximately $106,636.53. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Kimberly A. Heiting sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.33, for a total transaction of $72,495.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 12,032 shares in the company, valued at approximately $581,506.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 3,631 shares of company stock valued at $183,081. 1.14% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in NWN. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV lifted its stake in Northwest Natural by 10.3% during the 1st quarter. Creative Financial Designs Inc. ADV now owns 5,801 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $313,000 after acquiring an additional 542 shares in the last quarter. Confluence Investment Management LLC boosted its holdings in Northwest Natural by 6.4% during the fourth quarter. Confluence Investment Management LLC now owns 92,757 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,266,000 after purchasing an additional 5,619 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley grew its position in Northwest Natural by 19.6% in the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 247,283 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $11,373,000 after purchasing an additional 40,580 shares in the last quarter. Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Northwest Natural in the 3rd quarter valued at about $241,000. Finally, Hsbc Holdings PLC lifted its position in shares of Northwest Natural by 28.5% during the 4th quarter. Hsbc Holdings PLC now owns 28,179 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,272,000 after buying an additional 6,252 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.55% of the company’s stock.

About Northwest Natural

Northwest Natural Holding Company, through its subsidiary, Northwest Natural Gas Company, provides regulated natural gas distribution services to residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington. The company also owns and operates 20 Bcf of underground gas storage capacity in Oregon.

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Analyst Recommendations for Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN)

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