Hart Capital issues annual survey of regional stocks’ performance

The Hart Inland Northwest Capital Index gained 12.4 percent during 2014 and closed out the year with an 8.3 percent gain in the fourth quarter.

Compiled by Hart Capital Management Inc., a Spokane investment manager, the index takes 14 publicly traded stocks in Eastern Washington and Idaho and calculates their collective stock performance.

Hart also measured the index against the S&P 500, which gained 29.6 percent during the year and 12.4 percent in the fourth quarter.

The biggest contributors to the gains were regional bank stocks.

During the year Idaho Independent Bank’s stock price gained 137 percent, Sterling Financial Corp., of Spokane, gained 63 percent, Intermountain Community Bancorp, of Sandpoint, increased 37 percent and Spokane’s Northwest Bancorporation Inc. grew by 35.5 percent.

Ambassadors Group, the Spokane-based travel arranger, gained 9.2 percent for the year but was the largest gainer – by percentage – in the fourth quarter; its stock rose 35 percent, to $4.65 from $3.45.

The four big losers during 2013 were:

• Sandpoint apparel retailer Coldwater Creek fell 84.4 percent.

• Hecla Mining Co., of Coeur d’Alene, fell 47.2 percent.

• Spokane’s Red Lion Hotels Corp., fell 23.3 percent.

• Itron Inc., the Liberty Lake maker of utility products, fell 7 percent.

The charts that illustrate the relative gains of the index versus the S&P 500 take a starting value of 100 as of Dec. 31, 2002.

Hart Capital doesn’t offer a fund based on the index. It uses the index as a way of drawing attention to the performance of the region’s main public companies, said Craig Hart, president of Hart Capital Management.

The index later this year will need a revision, he added. If Sterling Financial’s proposed merger with Oregon-based Umpqua Bank is approved by regulators, that stock will fall off the list.

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