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What Differentiates Northwest Natural Gas from Top Utility Stocks

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Northwest Natural Gas

In this series, we’re analyzing dividend profiles for utilities that have increased their dividends for more than consecutive 40 years. Northwest Natural Gas (NWN) is currently trading at a yield of 3.3%, and it has raised its dividend for the last 61 consecutive years.

NWN stk

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Dividend profile

Northwest Natural Gas Company indeed has a long dividend payment history, but its dividend growth rate lags behind peers by a fair margin. In the last five years, NWN managed to increase its dividends by 1%, compounded annually. For broader utilities, the dividend increase came in around 4%, compounded annually. For the last 12 months, its payout ratio stood at 87%.

The chart above shows the comparative stock price movement for Northwest Natural Gas against broader utilities (IDU) along with broader markets. NWN fell nearly 4% in the last year, underperforming the S&P 500 Utilities Index (XLU) by a huge margin. In the last five years, NWN’s total returns came in at 8%, compounded annually.

Price target

Analysts have given NWN a mean price target of $57.8 against its current market price of $57.7, which indicates a flattish movement from NWN stock going forward.

Among the total seven analysts tracking NWN, three analysts currently rate it as a “hold” while two rate it as a “sell.” Two another analysts rate it as a “strong sell” as of January 25.

Northwest Natural Gas is a 158-year-old natural gas company located in Portland, Oregon. It serves more than 725,000 customers.

Also see How the Largest S&P 500 Utilities Are Placed ahead of 2018.

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