NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) Downgraded to “Hold” at ValuEngine

ValuEngine cut shares of NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday morning, ValuEngine reports.

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Barclays reissued a sell rating and issued a $70.00 price objective on shares of NorthWestern in a research note on Sunday, July 28th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of NorthWestern from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $64.83.

Shares of NorthWestern stock traded down $0.46 during trading on Thursday, reaching $69.46. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 355,089 shares, compared to its average volume of 272,807. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $72.29. The company has a market capitalization of $3.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.49, a PEG ratio of 7.43 and a beta of 0.24. NorthWestern has a fifty-two week low of $56.23 and a fifty-two week high of $74.47. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.08, a quick ratio of 0.73 and a current ratio of 0.92.

NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 23rd. The utilities provider reported $0.94 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.63 by $0.31. The business had revenue of $270.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $308.82 million. NorthWestern had a net margin of 17.30% and a return on equity of 9.86%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.63 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that NorthWestern will post 3.55 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 30th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 13th will be paid a $0.575 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 12th. This represents a $2.30 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.31%. NorthWestern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 67.85%.

In other news, General Counsel H. Grahame Heather sold 3,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.09, for a total transaction of $255,924.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Robert C. Rowe sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.57, for a total transaction of $108,855.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 5,670 shares of company stock worth $404,816 over the last three months. 1.17% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of NorthWestern during the 4th quarter worth $37,535,000. Deutsche Bank AG grew its stake in shares of NorthWestern by 23.4% during the 4th quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 265,178 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $15,760,000 after purchasing an additional 50,256 shares during the period. Quadrant Capital Group LLC lifted its holdings in NorthWestern by 316.3% in the 1st quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 2,040 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $141,000 after purchasing an additional 1,550 shares in the last quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. purchased a new position in NorthWestern in the 1st quarter valued at about $1,528,000. Finally, Texas Permanent School Fund lifted its holdings in NorthWestern by 3.8% in the 1st quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 34,185 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,407,000 after purchasing an additional 1,256 shares in the last quarter. 95.61% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NorthWestern Company Profile

NorthWestern Corporation, doing business as NorthWestern Energy, provides electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, and industrial customers. The company operates through Electric Operations and Natural Gas Operations segments. It generates, transmits, and distributes electricity; and produces, stores, transmits, and distributes natural gas, as well as owns municipal franchises to provide natural gas service in the communities.

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Analyst Recommendations for NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE)

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