Northwest Natural Holding Co (NWN) Position Cut by Macquarie Group Ltd.

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Macquarie Group Ltd. cut its stake in Northwest Natural Holding Co (NYSE:NWN) by 32.6% during the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 3,100 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 1,500 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd.’s holdings in Northwest Natural were worth $187,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Mackenzie Financial Corp bought a new stake in Northwest Natural during the third quarter valued at $224,000. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in Northwest Natural by 54.3% during the third quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC now owns 20,455 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,368,000 after purchasing an additional 7,198 shares during the last quarter. IMS Capital Management bought a new stake in Northwest Natural during the third quarter valued at $69,000. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans increased its stake in Northwest Natural by 2.2% during the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 20,595 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,245,000 after purchasing an additional 452 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund bought a new stake in Northwest Natural during the fourth quarter valued at $663,000. 68.49% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

NWN has been the subject of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Northwest Natural from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $68.00 target price for the company in a research note on Thursday, February 7th. Maxim Group initiated coverage on shares of Northwest Natural in a research note on Tuesday, January 8th. They set a “buy” rating and a $72.00 target price for the company. TheStreet upgraded shares of Northwest Natural from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Friday, March 1st. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their target price on shares of Northwest Natural from $65.00 to $67.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, March 4th. Finally, Guggenheim reiterated a “sell” rating and set a $49.00 target price on shares of Northwest Natural in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Northwest Natural presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $64.00.

NWN stock opened at $65.27 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.58 and a quick ratio of 0.49. Northwest Natural Holding Co has a 1-year low of $56.90 and a 1-year high of $71.81. The firm has a market cap of $1.90 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.01, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 6.68 and a beta of 0.40.

Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, March 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.27 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.18 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $226.70 million during the quarter. Northwest Natural had a net margin of 9.13% and a return on equity of 8.82%. Equities research analysts predict that Northwest Natural Holding Co will post 2.27 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, April 30th will be given a dividend of $0.475 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, April 29th. This represents a $1.90 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.91%. Northwest Natural’s dividend payout ratio is currently 81.55%.

In other news, Director Tod R. Hamachek sold 600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.21, for a total transaction of $39,126.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director C Scott Gibson sold 1,746 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.31, for a total transaction of $114,031.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 28,918 shares of company stock valued at $1,873,347 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 1.19% of the company’s stock.

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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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN)

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