NorthWestern Corp (NYSE:NWE) saw a significant growth in short interest in January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,230,000 shares, a growth of 16.0% from the January 15th total of 1,060,000 shares. Currently, 2.5% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 258,700 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 4.8 days.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NWE. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of NorthWestern by 24.2% during the first quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 71,028 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $5,002,000 after purchasing an additional 13,818 shares in the last quarter. Jaffetilchin Investment Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of NorthWestern during the third quarter worth about $202,000. Miller Howard Investments Inc. NY increased its stake in shares of NorthWestern by 6.9% during the third quarter. Miller Howard Investments Inc. NY now owns 18,696 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,403,000 after purchasing an additional 1,202 shares in the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of NorthWestern by 56.7% during the third quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 22,872 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,716,000 after purchasing an additional 8,272 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of NorthWestern by 15.6% during the third quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 20,624 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,548,000 after purchasing an additional 2,788 shares in the last quarter. 96.90% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of NWE stock traded up $0.48 on Friday, reaching $78.92. 283,600 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 246,184. The company has a market cap of $3.89 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.20, a P/E/G ratio of 6.22 and a beta of 0.16. The business has a 50-day moving average price of $74.33 and a 200 day moving average price of $72.67. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.09, a quick ratio of 0.63 and a current ratio of 0.80. NorthWestern has a 1 year low of $65.00 and a 1 year high of $79.29.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 31st. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 13th will be paid a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 12th. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.04%. This is a boost from NorthWestern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. NorthWestern’s payout ratio is currently 67.85%.
NWE has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of NorthWestern in a report on Sunday, January 19th. Barclays reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $71.00 price objective on shares of NorthWestern in a report on Thursday, October 31st. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of NorthWestern from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price objective on shares of NorthWestern from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a report on Thursday, January 2nd. Finally, Guggenheim initiated coverage on shares of NorthWestern in a report on Tuesday, January 7th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $71.00 price objective for the company. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $70.14.
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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