Shares of Northwest Natural Holding Co (NYSE:NWN) have been given a consensus rating of “Hold” by the six ratings firms that are presently covering the stock, MarketBeat Ratings reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, two have given a hold recommendation and two have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month price target among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $65.75.

NWN has been the topic of a number of research reports. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their price objective on Northwest Natural from $65.00 to $67.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, March 4th. Maxim Group set a $72.00 price objective on Northwest Natural and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 8th. TheStreet upgraded Northwest Natural from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Friday, March 1st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Northwest Natural from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $68.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Thursday, February 7th.

Shares of NWN traded up $1.35 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $68.82. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 158,371 shares, compared to its average volume of 118,988. Northwest Natural has a one year low of $56.90 and a one year high of $71.81. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80, a quick ratio of 0.48 and a current ratio of 0.52. The firm has a market cap of $1.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.54, a PEG ratio of 6.33 and a beta of 0.40.

Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, March 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.27 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.18 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $226.70 million for the quarter. Northwest Natural had a return on equity of 9.86% and a net margin of 9.10%. As a group, research analysts forecast that Northwest Natural will post 2.37 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, April 30th were given a dividend of $0.475 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, April 29th. This represents a $1.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.76%. Northwest Natural’s dividend payout ratio is currently 81.55%.

In other Northwest Natural news, Director Tod R. Hamachek sold 600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.21, for a total value of $39,126.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Lori L. Russell sold 3,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.59, for a total value of $226,065.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 28,846 shares of company stock worth $1,869,082 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 1.14% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NWN. Tompkins Financial Corp bought a new stake in shares of Northwest Natural in the 1st quarter valued at about $29,000. Quadrant Capital Group LLC lifted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural by 120.9% in the 1st quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 720 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $45,000 after purchasing an additional 394 shares during the period. Enterprise Financial Services Corp lifted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural by 3,479.5% in the 1st quarter. Enterprise Financial Services Corp now owns 1,396 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $92,000 after purchasing an additional 1,357 shares during the period. Quantamental Technologies LLC acquired a new position in shares of Northwest Natural in the 1st quarter valued at about $92,000. Finally, NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc lifted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural by 250.0% in the 1st quarter. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc now owns 1,400 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $92,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.06% of the company’s stock.

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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