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Hart regional stock index shows only slight gain

Eight of 14 publicly traded companies in an Inland Northwest stock tracker lost value during the first quarter, limiting the net gain for the index to just 0.5 percent.

The Hart Capital Inland Northwest Index, compiled by Spokane-based Hart Capital Management, measures the stock performance of 14 Inland Northwest companies, using a weighting formula based on the size of the company.

The Hart index ended 2013 at 230.3 and closed the first quarter of this year at 231.5.

Hart also measures the index versus the Standard & Poor 500, which grew by 1.3 percent in the same period.

For purposes of comparison, Hart starts both indexes at 100 as of Dec. 31, 2002.

The biggest regional gainers in the first quarter this year were Clearwater Paper Corp., up 19.4 percent, and Avista Corp., up 8.7 percent. Others with quarterly gains were Intermountain Community Bancorporation (7.6 percent), Idaho Independent Bank (6.8 percent), Northwest Bancorp (6.7 percent) and Washington Trust Bank (0.6 percent).

Among the losers, Sandpoint’s Coldwater Creek took the biggest dive, falling by 78.7 percent due to liquidity concerns the retailer faced leading up to its recent bankruptcy.

Other losers were Ambassadors Group (-14.8 percent), Itron Inc. (-14.2 percent), Potlatch Corp. (-7.3 percent), Key Tronic Corp. (-5.4 percent), Red Lion Hotels (-3.6 percent), Sterling Financial (-2.2 percent) and Hecla Mining (-0.3 percent).

Hart Capital Management uses the index solely to focus attention on regional companies trading on major exchanges. It does not offer an investment fund matching the index.

Because of Coldwater Creek’s bankruptcy and because Sterling is now part of Portland-based Umpqua Bank, both stocks will be removed from the next index.