Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday.

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, ValuEngine cut Northwest Natural from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 8th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $61.60.

NWN opened at $65.50 on Thursday. Northwest Natural has a 12-month low of $51.50 and a 12-month high of $71.81. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.98, a quick ratio of 0.43 and a current ratio of 0.57. The firm has a market cap of $1.91 billion, a PE ratio of 29.24, a PEG ratio of 7.03 and a beta of 0.28.

Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 6th. The utilities provider reported ($0.41) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.37) by ($0.04). Northwest Natural had a positive return on equity of 7.97% and a negative net margin of 8.52%. The firm had revenue of $91.20 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $98.42 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted ($0.30) EPS. Northwest Natural’s quarterly revenue was up 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Northwest Natural will post 2.23 EPS for the current year.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vista Capital Partners Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural by 6.1% during the 2nd quarter. Vista Capital Partners Inc. now owns 14,786 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $943,000 after purchasing an additional 854 shares during the last quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd lifted its stake in shares of Northwest Natural by 3.3% during the 3rd quarter. AMP Capital Investors Ltd now owns 27,792 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,848,000 after purchasing an additional 900 shares during the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE raised its stake in Northwest Natural by 3.6% in the second quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 30,057 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,918,000 after buying an additional 1,046 shares during the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC raised its stake in Northwest Natural by 188.3% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 2,266 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $145,000 after buying an additional 1,480 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers raised its stake in Northwest Natural by 2.2% in the second quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 74,193 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,734,000 after buying an additional 1,583 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 65.83% of the company’s stock.

Northwest Natural Company Profile

Northwest Natural Holding Company, through its subsidiary, NW Natural Gas Company, operates as a regulated natural gas distribution company. The company serves approximately 740,000 natural gas customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington through 14,000 miles of pipeline systems in the United States.

See Also: Consumer behavior in bull markets

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Northwest Natural (NWN)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Northwest Natural (NYSE:NWN)

Receive News & Ratings for Northwest Natural Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Northwest Natural and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.