W.E. Donoghue & Co. LLC grew its stake in shares of NorthWestern Corp (NYSE:NWE) by 79.1% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 16,549 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 7,307 shares during the quarter. W.E. Donoghue & Co. LLC’s holdings in NorthWestern were worth $971,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Retirement Systems of Alabama raised its position in shares of NorthWestern by 0.5% during the 3rd quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 183,326 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $10,754,000 after buying an additional 961 shares in the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System raised its position in shares of NorthWestern by 2.9% during the 2nd quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 34,349 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,966,000 after buying an additional 971 shares in the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its position in shares of NorthWestern by 5.6% during the 2nd quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 19,189 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,099,000 after buying an additional 1,012 shares in the last quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of NorthWestern by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 112,176 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,422,000 after buying an additional 1,277 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bessemer Group Inc. raised its position in shares of NorthWestern by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 37,900 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,170,000 after buying an additional 1,300 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 95.19% of the company’s stock.

NWE stock opened at $57.96 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.07, a quick ratio of 0.62 and a current ratio of 0.71. NorthWestern Corp has a 52 week low of $50.01 and a 52 week high of $64.47. The firm has a market cap of $2.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.06, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 7.46 and a beta of 0.08.

NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The utilities provider reported $0.58 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by ($0.14). NorthWestern had a net margin of 14.53% and a return on equity of 9.64%. The business had revenue of $279.87 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $312.21 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.74 EPS. NorthWestern’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.7% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts expect that NorthWestern Corp will post 3.4 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 31st. Investors of record on Friday, December 14th will be issued a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.80%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 13th. NorthWestern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 66.67%.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on NWE. Credit Suisse Group raised their price objective on shares of NorthWestern from $54.00 to $55.00 and gave the company a “$58.28” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 19th. Barclays began coverage on shares of NorthWestern in a research report on Tuesday, July 10th. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $60.00 price objective on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of NorthWestern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 2nd. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of NorthWestern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 20th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co increased their target price on shares of NorthWestern from $59.00 to $61.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, September 17th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.00.

About NorthWestern

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE)

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