NorthWestern (NWE) Reaches New 12-Month High at $71.02

NorthWestern Corp (NYSE:NWE)’s share price hit a new 52-week high during trading on Wednesday . The stock traded as high as $71.02 and last traded at $70.45, with a volume of 9495 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $70.88.

Several brokerages have recently commented on NWE. Bank of America reaffirmed an “underperform” rating and set a $55.00 price target on shares of NorthWestern in a research report on Thursday. Credit Suisse Group reduced their price target on shares of NorthWestern from $60.00 to $56.00 and set an “underperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, February 13th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of NorthWestern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 25th. KeyCorp increased their price target on shares of NorthWestern from $66.00 to $67.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, December 17th. Finally, Barclays set a $62.00 price target on shares of NorthWestern and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, November 17th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $61.33.

The company has a market capitalization of $3.57 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.72, a PEG ratio of 6.81 and a beta of 0.34. The company has a current ratio of 0.80, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.09.

NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, February 11th. The utilities provider reported $1.07 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $308.82 million for the quarter. NorthWestern had a net margin of 16.52% and a return on equity of 9.80%. As a group, research analysts expect that NorthWestern Corp will post 3.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 29th. Investors of record on Friday, March 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.575 per share. This is a positive change from NorthWestern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 14th. This represents a $2.30 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.27%. NorthWestern’s dividend payout ratio is 64.90%.

In other NorthWestern news, Director Jan Robert Horsfall sold 2,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.34, for a total value of $154,882.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 3,905 shares in the company, valued at $262,962.70. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Michael R. Cashell sold 1,656 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.85, for a total transaction of $112,359.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 6,156 shares of company stock worth $411,430. 1.17% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of NorthWestern by 9.2% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 562,748 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $33,449,000 after acquiring an additional 47,300 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of NorthWestern in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $37,535,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its holdings in shares of NorthWestern by 6.5% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,504,219 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $89,411,000 after acquiring an additional 91,298 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its holdings in shares of NorthWestern by 5.7% in the fourth quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 279,311 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $16,602,000 after acquiring an additional 14,954 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans boosted its holdings in shares of NorthWestern by 169.1% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 204,872 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $12,178,000 after acquiring an additional 128,742 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 96.51% of the company’s stock.

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NorthWestern Company Profile (NYSE:NWE)

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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