Northwest Natural (NWN) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Thursday morning. The firm currently has $68.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.

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. “

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Maxim Group assumed coverage on Northwest Natural in a research note on Tuesday, January 8th. They set a buy rating and a $72.00 price objective on the stock. Guggenheim reiterated a sell rating and set a $49.00 price objective on shares of Northwest Natural in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $60.25.



Shares of Northwest Natural stock opened at $61.94 on Thursday. Northwest Natural has a 12-month low of $51.50 and a 12-month high of $71.81. The company has a market cap of $1.79 billion, a PE ratio of 27.65, a P/E/G ratio of 5.83 and a beta of 0.40. The company has a current ratio of 0.57, a quick ratio of 0.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.98.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, January 31st will be issued a dividend of $0.475 per share. This represents a $1.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.07%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, January 30th. Northwest Natural’s payout ratio is presently 84.82%.

In related news, VP Lori L. Russell sold 1,200 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.43, for a total transaction of $79,716.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 1.19% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of NWN. Bank of America Corp DE increased its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 30,057 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,918,000 after acquiring an additional 1,046 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp grew its holdings in Northwest Natural by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 360,386 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $22,993,000 after buying an additional 3,574 shares in the last quarter. Personal Capital Advisors Corp grew its holdings in Northwest Natural by 8.4% in the 3rd quarter. Personal Capital Advisors Corp now owns 66,080 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,421,000 after buying an additional 5,099 shares in the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Northwest Natural by 48.1% in the 3rd quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 8,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $535,000 after buying an additional 2,600 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Aperio Group LLC grew its holdings in Northwest Natural by 11.1% in the 3rd quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 24,259 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,623,000 after buying an additional 2,431 shares in the last quarter. 67.79% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Northwest Natural

Northwest Natural Holding Company, through its subsidiary, NW Natural Gas Company, operates as a regulated natural gas distribution company. The company serves approximately 740,000 natural gas customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington through 14,000 miles of pipeline systems in the United States.

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