Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a "buy" rating to a "hold" rating in a report released on Thursday, Zacks.com reports.
According to Zacks, "Northwest Natural Holding Company builds and maintains natural gas distribution systems, as well as invests in natural gas pipeline projects through its subsidiaries. It serves residential, commercial and industrial customers primarily in the United States, Canada and Service Territory. Northwest Natural Holding Company, formerly known as NW Natural Gas Company, is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. "
Several other research firms also recently issued reports on NWN. Stifel Nicolaus assumed coverage on shares of Northwest Natural in a report on Thursday, December 17th. They set a "buy" rating and a $61.00 price objective for the company. TheStreet upgraded Northwest Natural from a "c" rating to a "b-" rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 10th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of "Hold" and a consensus price target of $54.83.
Shares of NWN opened at $54.14 on Thursday. The company's 50 day moving average price is $51.21 and its 200 day moving average price is $47.59. Northwest Natural has a 52 week low of $41.71 and a 52 week high of $67.24. The company has a market capitalization of $1.66 billion, a PE ratio of 26.94, a PEG ratio of 5.63 and a beta of 0.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 0.36 and a current ratio of 0.44.
Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 25th. The utilities provider reported $1.50 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks' 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 firm had revenue of $260.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $272.82 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.20 earnings per share. The firm's revenue was up 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Northwest Natural will post 2.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other news, CEO David Hugo Anderson sold 1,580 shares of the business's stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.21, for a total value of $69,851.80. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 96,212 shares of the company's stock, valued at approximately $4,253,532.52. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Shawn M. Filippi sold 600 shares of the business's stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.23, for a total value of $28,938.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 2,211 shares in the company, valued at $106,636.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 5,397 shares of company stock worth $261,156 over the last ninety days. Company insiders own 1.14% of the company's stock.
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Confluence Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in Northwest Natural by 12.9% during the 1st quarter. Confluence Investment Management LLC now owns 104,737 shares of the utilities provider's stock worth $5,650,000 after buying an additional 11,980 shares in the last quarter. Encompass Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Northwest Natural during the 4th quarter worth $202,000. Defined Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in Northwest Natural during the 4th quarter worth $31,000. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Northwest Natural during the 4th quarter worth $17,648,000. Finally, Hsbc Holdings PLC lifted its holdings in 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. 71.55% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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