NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) Reaches New 52-Week High After Dividend Announcement

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NorthWestern Corp (NYSE:NWE) shares reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Thursday following a dividend announcement from the company. The company traded as high as $78.82 and last traded at $78.79, with a volume of 66602 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $77.46.

The newly announced dividend which will be paid on Tuesday, March 31st. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 13th will be paid a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 12th. This is a positive change from NorthWestern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.04%. NorthWestern’s dividend payout ratio is 67.85%.

A number of analysts have issued reports on the stock. Barclays reiterated a “sell” rating and set a $71.00 price target on shares of NorthWestern in a research note on Thursday, October 31st. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of NorthWestern in a research note on Sunday, January 19th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of NorthWestern from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price target on shares of NorthWestern from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 2nd. Finally, Guggenheim assumed coverage on shares of NorthWestern in a research note on Tuesday, January 7th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $71.00 price target on the stock. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $70.14.

The firm has a market capitalization of $3.89 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.20, a P/E/G ratio of 6.22 and a beta of 0.16. The company has a quick ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 0.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.09. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $74.33 and a 200 day moving average price of $72.67.

NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 12th. The utilities provider reported $1.19 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.19. NorthWestern had a return on equity of 9.57% and a net margin of 16.84%. The business had revenue of $328.14 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $329.22 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.07 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts forecast that NorthWestern Corp will post 3.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. State Street Corp boosted its holdings in 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. Cohen & Steers Inc. boosted its holdings in 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. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in NorthWestern by 2.0% in the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,342,852 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $103,359,000 after purchasing an additional 25,789 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP boosted its holdings in 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. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its holdings in NorthWestern by 17.3% in the fourth quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 701,743 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $50,294,000 after purchasing an additional 103,353 shares in the last quarter. 96.90% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NorthWestern Company Profile (NYSE:NWE)

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.

Read More: Asset Allocation, Balancing Your Investments

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