Credit Suisse Group Lowers NorthWestern Corporation (NWE) to Underperform

NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE:NWE) was downgraded by analysts at Credit Suisse Group from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday, July 24th, Marketbeat Ratings reports. They currently have a $60.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock, down from their previous price objective of $62.00. Credit Suisse Group’s price objective points to a potential downside of 0.30% from the company’s current price.

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded NorthWestern Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. BidaskClub upgraded NorthWestern Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 17th. Finally, Williams Capital boosted their price objective on NorthWestern Corporation from $61.00 to $64.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and two have assigned a hold rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Sell” and an average target price of $60.00.

Shares of NorthWestern Corporation (NWE) traded down 0.69% during trading on Monday, reaching $60.18. 286,670 shares of the company traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.45 and a beta of 0.36. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $60.32 and a 200 day moving average price of $59.60. NorthWestern Corporation has a 12-month low of $53.85 and a 12-month high of $63.86.

NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE:NWE) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The utilities provider reported $0.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.15. The firm had revenue of $283.86 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $302.42 million. NorthWestern Corporation had a net margin of 13.17% and a return on equity of 9.31%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.65 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that NorthWestern Corporation will post $3.39 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, CEO Robert C. Rowe sold 7,252 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, May 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.89, for a total transaction of $441,574.28. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Patrick R. Corcoran sold 7,487 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, June 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.72, for a total value of $469,584.64. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 13,259 shares in the company, valued at approximately $831,604.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.33% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in NorthWestern Corporation by 10,516.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,214,512 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $540,893,000 after buying an additional 9,127,714 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its position in NorthWestern Corporation by 1,275.3% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 933,993 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $56,992,000 after buying an additional 866,081 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its position in NorthWestern Corporation by 119.2% in the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 609,981 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $37,221,000 after buying an additional 331,703 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new position in NorthWestern Corporation during the fourth quarter worth about $17,903,000. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC increased its position in NorthWestern Corporation by 87.1% in the second quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 618,396 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $37,735,000 after buying an additional 287,912 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 94.33% of the company’s stock.

About NorthWestern Corporation

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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