Northwest Natural Holding Co (NYSE:NWN) was the target of a significant drop in short interest during the month of July. As of July 15th, there was short interest totalling 1,147,500 shares, a drop of 13.5% from the June 15th total of 1,327,300 shares. Currently, 4.0% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 170,100 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 6.7 days.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Tompkins Financial Corp acquired a new stake in shares of Northwest Natural during the 1st quarter valued at $29,000. Quadrant Capital Group LLC raised its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural by 120.9% during the 1st 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. Mcmillion Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Northwest Natural during the 2nd quarter valued at $64,000. Enterprise Financial Services Corp raised its holdings in shares of Northwest Natural by 3,479.5% during the 1st 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. Finally, Quantamental Technologies LLC bought a new position in shares of Northwest Natural during the 1st quarter valued at $92,000. 68.91% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

NYSE NWN traded down $0.37 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $71.51. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,926 shares, compared to its average volume of 118,315. 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 moving average of $69.77. Northwest Natural has a 52 week low of $57.20 and a 52 week high of $72.07. The company has a market cap of $2.07 billion, a PE ratio of 30.67, a PEG ratio of 6.76 and a beta of 0.33.

Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.73 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.45 by $0.28. Northwest Natural had a net margin of 9.10% and a return on equity of 9.86%. The firm had revenue of $285.30 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $250.06 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.39 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 8.2% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Northwest Natural will post 2.35 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, July 31st will be paid a $0.475 dividend. This represents a $1.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.66%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, July 30th. Northwest Natural’s dividend payout ratio is 81.55%.

Several equities analysts have recently commented on NWN shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Hallmark Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $16.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Friday, July 19th. Maxim Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price target on shares of Northwest Natural in a research report on Thursday, June 6th. One research 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. Northwest Natural presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $66.50.

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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