Northwest Natural Holding Co (NYSE:NWN) has been assigned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the six ratings firms that are presently covering the firm, Marketbeat reports. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, one has issued a hold recommendation and two have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12-month price target among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $62.67.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on NWN. Zacks Investment Research raised Northwest Natural from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 2nd. Guggenheim reaffirmed a “sell” rating and set a $49.00 target price on shares of Northwest Natural in a research report on Monday, January 7th. Wells Fargo & Co lifted their target price on Northwest Natural from $65.00 to $67.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, March 4th. TheStreet raised Northwest Natural from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Friday, March 1st. Finally, Maxim Group began coverage on Northwest Natural in a research report on Tuesday, January 8th. They set a “buy” rating and a $72.00 target price for the company.

In other news, insider Kimberly A. Heiting sold 4,000 shares of Northwest Natural stock in a transaction on Friday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.00, for a total value of $256,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director C Scott Gibson sold 1,746 shares of Northwest Natural stock in a transaction on Monday, March 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.31, for a total value of $114,031.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 24,818 shares of company stock worth $1,608,156 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 1.19% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in NWN. Geode Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Northwest Natural in the 4th quarter valued at $18,563,000. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of Northwest Natural in the 4th quarter valued at $18,463,000. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural by 3.2% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,328,107 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $261,677,000 after acquiring an additional 135,173 shares during the period. Bank of America Corp DE increased its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural by 196.6% in the 4th quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 123,335 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $7,457,000 after acquiring an additional 81,747 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural by 19.5% in the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 456,558 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $27,604,000 after acquiring an additional 74,368 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 67.47% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE NWN opened at $64.51 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.58 and a quick ratio of 0.49. The firm has a market cap of $1.86 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.69, a PEG ratio of 6.54 and a beta of 0.40. Northwest Natural has a twelve month low of $55.35 and a twelve month high of $71.81.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, January 31st were issued a $0.475 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, January 30th. This represents a $1.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.95%. Northwest Natural’s dividend payout ratio is presently 81.55%.

Northwest Natural Company Profile

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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