Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Northwest Natural Holding Company builds and maintains natural gas distribution systems, as well as invests in natural gas pipeline projects through its subsidiaries. It serves residential, commercial and industrial customers primarily in the United States, Canada and Service Territory. Northwest Natural Holding Company, formerly known as NW Natural Gas Company, is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. “

Separately, Maxim Group reiterated a buy rating and issued a $72.00 target price on shares of Northwest Natural in a research report on Thursday, June 6th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $65.75.

Northwest Natural stock opened at $70.07 on Wednesday. Northwest Natural has a 12-month low of $57.20 and a 12-month high of $71.81. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80, a quick ratio of 0.48 and a current ratio of 0.52. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $69.07. The company has a market capitalization of $2.03 billion, a PE ratio of 26.95, a PEG ratio of 6.57 and a beta of 0.33.

Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, May 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.45 by $0.28. Northwest Natural had a return on equity of 9.86% and a net margin of 9.10%. The firm had revenue of $285.30 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $250.06 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.39 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.2% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts forecast that Northwest Natural will post 2.37 earnings per share for the current year.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Tompkins Financial Corp acquired a new stake in shares of Northwest Natural during the first quarter valued at about $29,000. Quadrant Capital Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural by 120.9% during the first quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 720 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $45,000 after purchasing an additional 394 shares in the last quarter. Enterprise Financial Services Corp boosted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural by 3,479.5% during the first quarter. Enterprise Financial Services Corp now owns 1,396 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $92,000 after purchasing an additional 1,357 shares in the last quarter. Quantamental Technologies LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Northwest Natural during the first quarter valued at about $92,000. Finally, NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc boosted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural by 250.0% during the first quarter. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc now owns 1,400 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $92,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. 69.03% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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