NorthWestern (NWE) Hits New 1-Year Low at $55.48

NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE:NWE) shares hit a new 52-week low during mid-day trading on Friday . The stock traded as low as $55.48 and last traded at $56.08, with a volume of 270300 shares. The stock had previously closed at $56.21.

NWE has been the subject of several recent research reports. Credit Suisse Group reduced their target price on shares of NorthWestern from $60.00 to $58.00 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a report on Friday, November 10th. Bank of America initiated coverage on shares of NorthWestern in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. They set an “underperform” rating and a $54.00 target price for the company. KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of NorthWestern in a report on Friday, October 20th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of NorthWestern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and two have issued a hold rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Sell” and a consensus price target of $58.00.

The company has a market cap of $2,730.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.89, a PEG ratio of 10.91 and a beta of 0.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.05, a current ratio of 0.42 and a quick ratio of 0.33.

NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $309.90 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $305.60 million. NorthWestern had a net margin of 12.44% and a return on equity of 9.41%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.68 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that NorthWestern Corporation will post 3.39 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 29th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th were given a dividend of $0.525 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $2.10 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.74%. NorthWestern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 63.25%.

In related news, CEO Robert C. Rowe sold 3,626 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.25, for a total transaction of $232,970.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. 1.33% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NWE. Alliancebernstein L.P. grew its position in NorthWestern by 1,275.3% during the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 933,993 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $56,992,000 after buying an additional 866,081 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC acquired a new stake in NorthWestern during the second quarter valued at $36,722,000. Teachers Advisors LLC grew its position in NorthWestern by 87.1% during the second quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 618,396 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $37,735,000 after buying an additional 287,912 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in NorthWestern by 4.7% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,458,394 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $272,052,000 after buying an additional 200,531 shares during the period. Finally, Hillcrest Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in NorthWestern during the third quarter valued at $9,870,000. Institutional investors own 93.64% of the company’s stock.

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NorthWestern Company Profile

NorthWestern Corporation, doing business as North-Western Energy, provides electricity and natural gas. The Company’s segments are Electric operations, Natural gas operations and All other. As of December 31, 2016, the Company provided electricity and natural gas to approximately 709,600 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.

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