NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) Earns Buy Rating from Wells Fargo & Co

Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed their buy rating on shares of NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) in a research report report published on Sunday morning, AnalystRatings.com reports.

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Guggenheim initiated coverage on shares of NorthWestern in a report on Tuesday, January 7th. They issued a neutral rating and a $71.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of NorthWestern from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $80.00 price target on the stock in a report on Friday, December 13th. Barclays reissued a sell rating and issued a $71.00 price target on shares of NorthWestern in a report on Thursday, October 31st. Finally, Credit Suisse Group increased their price target on shares of NorthWestern from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an underperform rating in a report on Thursday, January 2nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $70.14.

Shares of NYSE:NWE opened at $75.45 on Friday. NorthWestern has a twelve month low of $61.26 and a twelve month high of $76.72. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.77 billion, a PE ratio of 18.36, a P/E/G ratio of 6.02 and a beta of 0.16. The company has a quick ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 0.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.09. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $71.84 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $72.15.

NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 29th. The utilities provider reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.63 by ($0.13). NorthWestern had a return on equity of 9.57% and a net margin of 16.84%. The firm had revenue of $274.84 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $295.48 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.58 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that NorthWestern will post 3.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, December 31st. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 13th were issued a $0.575 dividend. This represents a $2.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.05%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 12th. NorthWestern’s payout ratio is 67.85%.

In related news, CEO Robert C. Rowe sold 2,150 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.68, for a total value of $151,962.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Company insiders own 1.17% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in NWE. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in NorthWestern by 24.2% in the first quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 71,028 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $5,002,000 after purchasing an additional 13,818 shares in the last quarter. LPL Financial LLC purchased a new position in shares of NorthWestern during the second quarter worth approximately $215,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC raised its stake in shares of NorthWestern by 13.8% during the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 3,039 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $219,000 after acquiring an additional 368 shares in the last quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. raised its stake in shares of NorthWestern by 87.5% during the second quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. now owns 21,265 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,534,000 after acquiring an additional 9,921 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Private Advisor Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of NorthWestern during the second quarter worth approximately $322,000. 96.91% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About NorthWestern

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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