Shares of NorthWestern Corp (NYSE:NWE) have earned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the seven analysts that are covering the stock, Marketbeat reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, three have given a hold recommendation, one has issued a buy recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. The average 12-month price objective among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $58.20.

A number of equities analysts have issued reports on the company. KeyCorp upgraded NorthWestern from a “sector weight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, June 4th. Credit Suisse Group increased their price target on NorthWestern from $54.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock a “$58.28” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 19th. Barclays assumed coverage on NorthWestern in a research report on Tuesday, July 10th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $60.00 price target on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded NorthWestern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 2nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded NorthWestern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 15th.

In other news, VP Curtis T. Pohl sold 1,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.73, for a total value of $70,476.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in NorthWestern by 3.7% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,393,956 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $79,803,000 after buying an additional 49,891 shares in the last quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. purchased a new position in NorthWestern during the second quarter worth approximately $264,000. Millennium Management LLC lifted its position in NorthWestern by 42.4% during the second quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 588,698 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $33,703,000 after buying an additional 175,202 shares in the last quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY lifted its position in NorthWestern by 5.4% during the second quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 29,769 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,704,000 after buying an additional 1,521 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta as represented by Alberta Investment Management Corp purchased a new position in NorthWestern during the second quarter worth approximately $235,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 95.89% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NWE stock opened at $59.75 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $3.01 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.11, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 7.65 and a beta of 0.13. The company has a current ratio of 0.77, a quick ratio of 0.62 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.07. NorthWestern has a 12-month low of $50.01 and a 12-month high of $64.47.

NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 19th. The utilities provider reported $0.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.44 by $0.43. The company had revenue of $261.82 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $286.14 million. NorthWestern had a return on equity of 10.28% and a net margin of 14.84%. NorthWestern’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.47 earnings per share. research analysts predict that NorthWestern will post 3.45 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 28th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 14th will be given a $0.55 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 13th. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.68%. NorthWestern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 66.67%.

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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