NorthWestern Earnings Preview

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If NorthWestern (NYS: NWE) misses estimates again, it will be the third consecutive quarter for the company. The company will unveil its latest earnings Wednesday. NorthWestern Corporation provides electricity and natural gas in Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts strongly back NorthWestern, with five of seven rating it a buy and the remainder rating it a hold. Analysts like NorthWestern better than competitor Black Hills overall. Wall Street has warmed to the stock over the past three months, with analysts increasing their endorsement from hold to moderate buy.
  • Revenue Forecasts: On average, analysts predict $247.9 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 2.9% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.42 per share. Estimates range from $0.39 to $0.44.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly backing the stock with 90% assigning it an "outperform" rating. The community at large concurs with the All-Stars with 86% granting it a rating of "outperform." Fools are bullish on NorthWestern, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 18 posts in the past 30 days. Despite the majority sentiment in favor of NorthWestern, the stock has a middling CAPS rating of three out of five stars.

Management:
NorthWestern's income has fallen year over year by an average of 7.1% over the past five quarters. The company's revenue has now risen for two straight quarters.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows gross and net margins over the past four quarters.

Quarter

Q2

Q1

Q4

Q3

Gross Margin

56.2%

52.1%

51.9%

56%

Net Margin

4.4%

9.6%

7.7%

6.0%

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At the time this article was published

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