Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) Upgraded to “Neutral” by Bank of America

Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWNGet Rating) was upgraded by stock analysts at Bank of America from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday, The Fly reports.

A number of other equities research analysts have also commented on NWN. TheStreet upgraded Northwest Natural from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Monday, February 28th. Royal Bank of Canada raised their price target on shares of Northwest Natural from $49.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 14th. StockNews.com initiated coverage on shares of Northwest Natural in a report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “hold” rating for the company. Maxim Group cut their price objective on shares of Northwest Natural from $74.00 to $62.00 in a report on Monday, April 4th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company boosted their price target on shares of Northwest Natural from $51.00 to $54.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, February 28th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $53.40.

Shares of NYSE NWN opened at $52.48 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $1.80 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.69, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.52 and a beta of 0.49. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $51.04 and its 200 day moving average price is $49.14. Northwest Natural has a 1 year low of $43.07 and a 1 year high of $57.63. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.06, a quick ratio of 0.54 and a current ratio of 0.59.

Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWNGet Rating) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, May 4th. The utilities provider reported $1.80 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.90 by ($0.10). Northwest Natural had a net margin of 8.43% and a return on equity of 8.07%. The business had revenue of $350.30 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $324.26 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.94 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 10.9% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts predict that Northwest Natural will post 2.52 EPS for the current year.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. FMR LLC boosted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural by 757.4% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 5,273 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $346,000 after buying an additional 4,658 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley increased its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural by 22.0% in the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 216,080 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $11,348,000 after purchasing an additional 39,001 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Holdings Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural by 22.3% in the third quarter. Advisor Group Holdings Inc. now owns 12,358 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $569,000 after purchasing an additional 2,257 shares during the last quarter. Barclays PLC increased its stake in Northwest Natural by 100.7% during the third quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 36,032 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,657,000 after acquiring an additional 18,083 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Teacher Retirement System of Texas increased its stake in Northwest Natural by 22.6% during the third quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 4,924 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $226,000 after acquiring an additional 908 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 64.11% 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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