Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) Lowered to Sell at StockNews.com

StockNews.com lowered shares of Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWNGet Rating) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Thursday.

Separately, Bank of America upgraded shares of Northwest Natural from an underperform rating to a neutral rating and set a $53.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, May 24th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have given a hold rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat.com, Northwest Natural currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $53.60.

Northwest Natural Trading Down 2.2 %

Shares of NWN stock opened at $48.30 on Thursday. Northwest Natural has a 52-week low of $43.07 and a 52-week high of $57.63. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92, a quick ratio of 0.54 and a current ratio of 0.66. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $51.83 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $51.97. The company has a market capitalization of $1.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.40, a PEG ratio of 4.49 and a beta of 0.49.

Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWNGet Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.05 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.04) by $0.09. The company had revenue of $194.96 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $157.21 million. Northwest Natural had a net margin of 8.27% and a return on equity of 7.87%. Northwest Natural’s revenue was up 30.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted ($0.02) EPS. Research analysts anticipate that Northwest Natural will post 2.5 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Northwest Natural Dividend Announcement

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, August 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 29th were issued a $0.482 dividend. This represents a $1.93 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.99%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 28th. Northwest Natural’s payout ratio is 77.51%.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other news, VP David A. Weber sold 1,436 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.22, for a total value of $76,423.92. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 171 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,100.62. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. In related news, VP David A. Weber sold 1,436 shares of Northwest Natural stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.22, for a total transaction of $76,423.92. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 171 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,100.62. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO David Hugo Anderson sold 1,127 shares of Northwest Natural stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.44, for a total transaction of $59,099.88. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 125,675 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,590,397. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.84% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Invesco Ltd. grew its stake in shares of Northwest Natural by 37.5% in the fourth quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 1,351,078 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $65,906,000 after acquiring an additional 368,677 shares during the period. Millennium Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Northwest Natural by 372.0% in the second quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 445,329 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $23,647,000 after acquiring an additional 350,988 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Northwest Natural in the first quarter worth approximately $15,340,000. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Northwest Natural by 7.7% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,878,324 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $200,586,000 after acquiring an additional 277,421 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp grew its stake in shares of Northwest Natural by 16.9% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,562,357 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $80,805,000 after acquiring an additional 226,118 shares during the period. 76.06% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Northwest Natural

(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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