NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE:NWE) has been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Sell” from the six analysts that are currently covering the stock, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and two have given a hold rating to the company. The average 1 year target price among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $54.67.

Several research analysts recently issued reports on NWE shares. Credit Suisse Group cut their target price on shares of NorthWestern from $60.00 to $58.00 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, November 10th. Bank of America started coverage on shares of NorthWestern in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $54.00 target price for the company. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of NorthWestern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of NorthWestern in a research note on Friday, October 20th.

Shares of NorthWestern (NWE) traded up $0.69 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $61.60. 700,214 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 310,936. NorthWestern has a one year low of $55.65 and a one year high of $64.47. The stock has a market capitalization of $3,030.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.40, a PEG ratio of 11.70 and a beta of 0.37. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.05, a current ratio of 0.42 and a quick ratio of 0.33.

NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.75 by ($0.01). NorthWestern had a return on equity of 9.41% and a net margin of 12.44%. The company had revenue of $309.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $305.60 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.68 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that NorthWestern will post 3.39 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 15th will be paid a $0.525 dividend. This represents a $2.10 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.41%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 14th. NorthWestern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 63.25%.

In other NorthWestern news, CEO Robert C. Rowe sold 3,626 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.25, for a total value of $232,970.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Insiders own 1.33% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Riverhead Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of NorthWestern by 62.8% during the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 2,931 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $179,000 after acquiring an additional 1,131 shares during the last quarter. Stevens Capital Management LP bought a new position in shares of NorthWestern during the second quarter valued at about $201,000. Legg Mason Asset Management Japan Co. Ltd. bought a new position in shares of NorthWestern during the second quarter valued at about $207,000. Prudential PLC bought a new position in shares of NorthWestern during the second quarter valued at about $207,000. Finally, Shelton Capital Management bought a new position in shares of NorthWestern during the second quarter valued at about $222,000. 93.68% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About NorthWestern

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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