NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Tuesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “NorthWestern Energy is a growing, financially sound, investor-owned energy company. It has provided reliable and affordable energy to customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. The company got its start in small communities, providing essential service that allowed them to grow and prosper. “

Separately, Barclays restated a sell rating and set a $70.00 price objective on shares of NorthWestern in a research report on Sunday, July 28th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $64.83.

Shares of NYSE NWE opened at $69.46 on Tuesday. NorthWestern has a one year low of $56.23 and a one year high of $74.47. The firm has a market cap of $3.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.49, a PEG ratio of 7.46 and a beta of 0.28. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.08, a current ratio of 0.92 and a quick ratio of 0.73. The business’s 50-day simple moving average is $72.29.

NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 23rd. The utilities provider reported $0.94 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.63 by $0.31. NorthWestern had a return on equity of 9.86% and a net margin of 17.30%. The firm had revenue of $270.70 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $308.82 million. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.63 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that NorthWestern will post 3.55 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

In other news, VP Bobbi L. Schroeppel sold 570 shares of NorthWestern stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.24, for a total transaction of $40,036.80. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 20,816 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,462,115.84. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, General Counsel H. Grahame Heather sold 3,600 shares of NorthWestern stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.09, for a total value of $255,924.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 5,670 shares of company stock valued at $404,816. 1.17% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Alpha Windward LLC acquired a new stake in shares of NorthWestern during the 2nd quarter valued at about $25,000. Berman Capital Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of NorthWestern by 62.8% in the 1st quarter. Berman Capital Advisors LLC now owns 529 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $37,000 after acquiring an additional 204 shares in the last quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of NorthWestern by 32.0% in the 1st quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 754 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $53,000 after acquiring an additional 183 shares in the last quarter. AGF Investments LLC raised its stake in shares of NorthWestern by 40.3% in the 2nd quarter. AGF Investments LLC now owns 1,420 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $102,000 after acquiring an additional 408 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Quadrant Capital Group LLC raised its stake in shares of 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 acquiring an additional 1,550 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 95.61% of the company’s stock.

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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