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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Hart index sees slip in regional companies

Despite solid gains by regional banks in the third quarter, the Hart Capital Inland Northwest Index fell 5.7 percent in market value during the period. Stocks across the board didn’t fare much better in a tough quarter: the S&P 500 eked out a 0.6 percent gain and the Russell 2000 dropped by 7.7 percent in the same period.

The index compiled by Spokane-based Hart Capital Management is a way to look at the performance of the 12 largest publicly traded companies in the region.

For the first nine months of 2014 the Hart Index has posted an 0.8 percent gain.

The third quarter’s weak numbers reflected general market uncertainty. Many traders and investors began pulling back, fearful that the year’s earlier gains were about to reverse direction.

During the quarter, five of 12 companies saw gains, led by Intermountain Community Bank, based in Sandpoint, up 15.1 percent in stock price.

Spokane’s Northwest Bancorporation Inc. gained 5.6 percent in the same period. Also on the plus side was Washington Trust Bank Financial Corp., up 1.9 percent.

Other gainers were Red Lion Hotels and Key Tronic Corp., up 3.8 percent and 0.9 percent respectively.

The quarter’s biggest drops were by Hecla Mining Co. and Ambassadors Group, down 28.1 percent and 19.7 percent respectively. Hecla has the lowest share price on the index, measuring $3.45 on June 30 and $2.48 on Sept. 30.

Over the first nine months of 2014 Intermountain Community Bank gained 19.0 percent, followed in the winner’s circle by Clearwater Paper Corp., Avista Corp. and Northwest Bancorporation with gains of 14.5 percent, 8.3 percent and 6.3 percent respectively.

Travel provider Ambassadors Group had the biggest stock price drop since Dec. 31, down 20.4 percent. Hecla is down 19.5 percent.

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