Northwest Natural (NWN) Given a $72.00 Price Target by Maxim Group Analysts

Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) has been given a $72.00 price target by equities researchers at Maxim Group in a note issued to investors on Wednesday, TipRanks reports. The brokerage presently has a “buy” rating on the utilities provider’s stock. Maxim Group’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 6.87% from the stock’s previous close.

A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on NWN. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Northwest Natural from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 8th. Wells Fargo & Co increased their price objective on shares of Northwest Natural from $65.00 to $67.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, March 4th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of Northwest Natural from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Friday, March 1st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $65.75.

Shares of Northwest Natural stock opened at $67.37 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $1.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.91, a P/E/G ratio of 6.47 and a beta of 0.40. Northwest Natural has a twelve month low of $56.90 and a twelve month high of $71.81. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a current ratio of 0.58.

Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, March 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.27 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.18 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $226.70 million for the quarter. Northwest Natural had a net margin of 9.13% and a return on equity of 8.82%. On average, research analysts anticipate that Northwest Natural will post 2.35 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO David Hugo Anderson sold 19,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.94, for a total transaction of $1,233,860.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Kimberly A. Heiting sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.00, for a total transaction of $256,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 28,846 shares of company stock worth $1,869,082. 1.14% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. First Trust Advisors LP increased its holdings in Northwest Natural by 12.6% during the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 438,376 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $28,771,000 after buying an additional 49,098 shares during the last quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in Northwest Natural by 5.9% during the first quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 7,266 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $477,000 after buying an additional 405 shares during the last quarter. Becker Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Northwest Natural during the first quarter valued at approximately $218,000. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can increased its holdings in Northwest Natural by 33.9% during the first quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 65,972 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,323,000 after buying an additional 16,684 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its holdings in Northwest Natural by 1.8% during the first quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 11,172 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $733,000 after buying an additional 202 shares during the last quarter. 68.60% 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.

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