NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE:NWE) has earned a consensus rating of “Sell” from the six ratings firms that are covering the firm, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and two have assigned a hold rating to the company. The average twelve-month price target among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $55.33.

Several research analysts recently weighed in on NWE shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of NorthWestern Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $68.00 price target for the company in a research report on Friday, July 7th. Credit Suisse Group cut shares of NorthWestern Corporation from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $62.00 to $60.00 in a research note on Monday, July 24th. BidaskClub raised shares of NorthWestern Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, July 24th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of NorthWestern Corporation in a research note on Friday. Finally, Bank of America Corporation started coverage on shares of NorthWestern Corporation in a research note on Tuesday. They set an “underperform” rating and a $54.00 price objective for the company.

Shares of NorthWestern Corporation (NWE) traded down 1.14% on Tuesday, hitting $58.20. The stock had a trading volume of 119,628 shares. The firm has a market cap of $2.82 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.87 and a beta of 0.36. NorthWestern Corporation has a 12 month low of $54.06 and a 12 month high of $63.86. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $58.47 and its 200 day moving average price is $60.11.

NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE:NWE) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The utilities provider reported $0.47 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.62 by ($0.15). NorthWestern Corporation had a return on equity of 9.31% and a net margin of 13.17%. The company had revenue of $283.86 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $302.42 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.65 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that NorthWestern Corporation will post $3.39 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 29th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th were paid a dividend of $0.525 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $2.10 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.57%. NorthWestern Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is presently 60.34%.

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In related news, CEO Robert C. Rowe sold 3,626 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.43, for a total transaction of $219,119.18. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. 1.33% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Meeder Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in NorthWestern Corporation during the 2nd quarter valued at about $155,000. Riverhead Capital Management LLC grew its stake in NorthWestern Corporation by 62.8% during the 2nd 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 in the last quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. grew its stake in NorthWestern Corporation by 100.4% during the 2nd quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. now owns 3,295 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $201,000 after acquiring an additional 1,651 shares in the last quarter. Stevens Capital Management LP purchased a new stake in NorthWestern Corporation during the 2nd quarter valued at about $201,000. Finally, Legg Mason Asset Management Japan Co. Ltd. purchased a new stake in NorthWestern Corporation during the 2nd quarter valued at about $207,000. 98.34% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About NorthWestern Corporation

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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