Maxim Group Reiterates Buy Rating for Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN)

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Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN)‘s stock had its “buy” rating restated by equities research analysts at Maxim Group in a research note issued on Monday, AnalystRatings.com reports. They presently have a $79.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock, up from their prior price target of $72.00. Maxim Group’s target price suggests a potential upside of 12.33% from the stock’s previous close.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Northwest Natural from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 19th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $68.25.

Shares of NWN traded down $0.80 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $70.33. The stock had a trading volume of 146,669 shares, compared to its average volume of 141,555. Northwest Natural has a fifty-two week low of $57.20 and a fifty-two week high of $72.66. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $70.16. The company has a market capitalization of $2.06 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.18, a P/E/G ratio of 6.73 and a beta of 0.30. The company has a current ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 0.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80.

Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, May 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.73 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.45 by $0.28. Northwest Natural had a net margin of 9.10% and a return on equity of 9.86%. The company had revenue of $285.30 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $250.06 million. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.39 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Northwest Natural will post 2.35 earnings per share for the current year.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Whitehelm Capital Pty Ltd lifted its position in shares of Northwest Natural by 15.0% in the first quarter. Whitehelm Capital Pty Ltd now owns 38,225 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,509,000 after purchasing an additional 4,983 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Northwest Natural in the fourth quarter worth approximately $18,463,000. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC lifted its position in shares of Northwest Natural by 5.8% in the first quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 3,586 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $236,000 after purchasing an additional 197 shares in the last quarter. Clear Harbor Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Northwest Natural in the first quarter worth approximately $4,898,000. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP lifted its position in shares of Northwest Natural by 12.6% in the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 438,376 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $28,771,000 after purchasing an additional 49,098 shares in the last quarter. 69.22% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Northwest Natural

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.

Further Reading: Convertible Shares

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