NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE: NWN) hit a new 52-week high Thursday as it is currently trading at $48.74, above its previous 52-week high of $48.72 with 5,204 shares traded as of 10:45 a.m. ET. Average volume has been 116,600 shares over the past 30 days.

Northwest Natural Gas has a market cap of $1.3 billion and is part of the utilities sector and utilities industry. Shares are up 3.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

Northwest Natural Gas Company stores and distributes natural gas primarily in Oregon, Washington, and California. The company operates in two segments, Local Gas Distribution and Gas Storage. The Local Gas Distribution segment distributes natural gas in Oregon and southwest Washington. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.1, equal to the average utilities industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Northwest Natural Gas as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share. You can view the full Northwest Natural Gas Ratings Report.

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