NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) had its target price lowered by equities researchers at Barclays from $73.00 to $56.00 in a report issued on Thursday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The brokerage presently has an “underweight” rating on the utilities provider’s stock. Barclays‘s target price would indicate a potential downside of 2.74% from the company’s current price.

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price objective on shares of NorthWestern from $72.00 to $77.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 18th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of NorthWestern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, March 18th. Guggenheim assumed coverage on shares of NorthWestern in a report on Tuesday, January 7th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $71.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “buy” rating on shares of NorthWestern in a report on Sunday, January 19th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. NorthWestern has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $68.33.

Shares of NYSE:NWE traded up $4.24 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $57.58. The stock had a trading volume of 12,927 shares, compared to its average volume of 526,172. The company has a market capitalization of $2.66 billion, a PE ratio of 14.37, a P/E/G ratio of 4.84 and a beta of 0.31. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $71.59 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $72.51. The company has a current ratio of 0.90, a quick ratio of 0.74 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.10. NorthWestern has a 1 year low of $45.06 and a 1 year high of $80.52.

NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 12th. The utilities provider reported $1.19 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.19. The firm had revenue of $328.14 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $329.22 million. NorthWestern had a net margin of 16.07% and a return on equity of 9.76%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.07 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts expect that NorthWestern will post 3.53 EPS for the current year.

In other NorthWestern news, Director Jan Robert Horsfall sold 3,100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.67, for a total value of $246,977.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 3,555 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $283,226.85. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP H. Grahame Heather sold 3,165 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.57, for a total transaction of $248,674.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 8,265 shares of company stock worth $653,731. 1.17% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in NWE. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in shares of NorthWestern in the fourth quarter valued at about $47,683,000. Cohen & Steers Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of NorthWestern by 14.7% in the fourth quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 1,685,006 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $120,764,000 after purchasing an additional 215,553 shares in the last quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. lifted its holdings in shares of NorthWestern by 12,562.5% in the third quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. now owns 202,600 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $15,205,000 after purchasing an additional 201,000 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its holdings in shares of NorthWestern by 8.3% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,814,341 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $130,034,000 after purchasing an additional 138,445 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP lifted its holdings in shares of NorthWestern by 18.3% in the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 711,161 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $50,969,000 after purchasing an additional 110,027 shares in the last quarter. 97.13% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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