Barclays Reaffirms “Sell” Rating for NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE)

Barclays reaffirmed their sell rating on shares of NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) in a research report released on Sunday, AnalystRatings.com reports. The firm currently has a $70.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research upgraded NorthWestern from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $80.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, April 17th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. NorthWestern currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $64.83.

Shares of NYSE NWE opened at $69.92 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.73, a current ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.08. The stock has a market cap of $3.59 billion, a PE ratio of 20.63, a P/E/G ratio of 6.62 and a beta of 0.28. NorthWestern has a 1-year low of $56.23 and a 1-year high of $74.47. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $72.39.

NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 23rd. The utilities provider reported $0.94 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.63 by $0.31. The firm had revenue of $270.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $308.82 million. NorthWestern had a return on equity of 9.86% and a net margin of 17.30%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.63 EPS. Analysts predict that NorthWestern will post 3.55 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 30th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 13th will be paid a $0.575 dividend. This represents a $2.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.29%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 12th. NorthWestern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 67.85%.

In other NorthWestern news, General Counsel H. Grahame Heather sold 3,600 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.09, for a total value of $255,924.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Robert C. Rowe sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.57, for a total value of $108,855.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.17% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NWE. Alpha Windward LLC acquired a new position in shares of NorthWestern in the second quarter valued at about $25,000. Berman Capital Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of NorthWestern by 62.8% in the first quarter. Berman Capital Advisors LLC now owns 529 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $37,000 after purchasing an additional 204 shares during the period. Ellis Investment Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of NorthWestern in the first quarter valued at about $40,000. Parallel Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of NorthWestern by 32.0% in the first quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 754 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $53,000 after purchasing an additional 183 shares during the period. Finally, AGF Investments LLC increased its holdings in shares of NorthWestern by 40.3% in the second quarter. AGF Investments LLC now owns 1,420 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $102,000 after purchasing an additional 408 shares during the period. Institutional investors 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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Analyst Recommendations for NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE)

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