Northwest Natural Holding (NYSE:NWN) Receives Average Recommendation of “Hold” from Analysts

Northwest Natural Holding (NYSE:NWNGet Rating) has received an average recommendation of “Hold” from the seven brokerages that are presently covering the firm, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating. The average 12-month target price among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $53.75.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on the company. StockNews.com assumed coverage on Northwest Natural in a research note on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “hold” rating on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price target on Northwest Natural from $49.00 to $50.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 14th. Guggenheim upgraded Northwest Natural from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $49.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday, January 20th. Maxim Group lowered their price target on Northwest Natural from $74.00 to $62.00 in a research note on Monday, April 4th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company boosted their price target on Northwest Natural from $51.00 to $54.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, February 28th.

Northwest Natural stock opened at $47.83 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.12, a quick ratio of 0.52 and a current ratio of 0.60. The business’s 50-day simple moving average is $51.96 and its 200-day simple moving average is $48.70. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.64 billion, a PE ratio of 18.68, a PEG ratio of 4.30 and a beta of 0.48. Northwest Natural has a 52 week low of $43.07 and a 52 week high of $57.63.

Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWNGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 25th. The utilities provider reported $1.31 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.33 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $294.10 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $270.12 million. Northwest Natural had a return on equity of 8.54% and a net margin of 9.14%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.50 earnings per share. Research analysts forecast that Northwest Natural will post 2.53 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 13th. Stockholders of record on Friday, April 29th will be paid a $0.482 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 28th. This represents a $1.93 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.03%. Northwest Natural’s dividend payout ratio is currently 75.39%.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NWN. Invesco Ltd. grew its stake in shares of Northwest Natural by 37.5% in the 4th quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 1,351,078 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $65,906,000 after purchasing an additional 368,677 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural by 6.4% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,291,365 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $258,112,000 after acquiring an additional 318,905 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of Northwest Natural in the 4th quarter worth approximately $13,019,000. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural by 51.7% in the 3rd quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 269,436 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $12,392,000 after acquiring an additional 91,868 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural by 5.9% in the 4th quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,336,239 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $65,182,000 after acquiring an additional 74,334 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 71.26% of the company’s stock.

Northwest Natural Company Profile (Get Rating)

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 operates 5.7 billion cubic feet of the Mist gas storage facility contracted to other utilities and third-party marketers; offers natural gas asset management services; and operates an appliance retail center.

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