The Hart Capital Inland Northwest Index increased 6.9% during the second quarter of 2019, primarily driven by improved operating performance and revenue gains from Itron Inc.
The Liberty Lake-based company experienced a 34.1% gain in its stock price during the second quarter when compared with the first quarter.
“Their order rates improved and they seem to have a better grasp on margins,” said Craig Hart, president and chief investment officer of Hart Capital Management. “Those are the key components that are driving it.”
The Hart index, compiled by Spokane-based Hart Capital Management, tracks seven of the region’s largest publicly traded companies in a methodology similar to Standard & Poor’s 500.
The S&P 500 Index reported a 3.8% gain in the second quarter of 2019.
Four regional companies saw stock price gains in the second quarter. Avista Corp. and W.T.B. Financial Corp., the holding company for Washington Trust Bank, saw second quarter increases of 9.8% and 3.6%, respectively. PotlatchDeltic reported a 3.1% increase.
“It is certainly nice to see improvement in pricing, and if you think about why companies move in value, it’s because of earnings growth,” Hart said. “We still have good solid companies in our region, which is good to see.”
Hecla Mining Co. experienced the largest decline among regional companies in the second quarter – at 21.7% – because of concerns surrounding the company’s access to debt refinancing, low gold grades at its underperforming Nevada mines and the prolonged strike at the Lucky Friday mine in Mullan, Idaho.
Key Tronic Corp and Clearwater Paper Corp. also reported second-quarter losses, of 19.3% and 5.1%, respectively.
The total market capitalization of the companies in the Hart index increased $566.8 million during the second quarter – or 5.9% – over the first quarter.
In the past 12 months, the Hart Capital Inland Northwest Composite – the index’s stock value – fell $1.9 billion, with $268.1 million of the loss attributed to Billings-based First Interstate BancSystem Inc.’s acquisition of Spokane-based Northwest Bancorporation Inc. and Idaho Independent Bancorporation Inc., of Coeur d’Alene.
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