NorthWestern Corp. (NWE) Shares Tick Up after Upgrade at Zacks Investment Research

NorthWestern Corp. (NYSE: NWE) shares rose in value Thursday December 29 with lighter trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a upgraded rating.

Meanwhile, U.S. stocks were little changed in early trade Thursday. The S&P 500 SPX, +0.04% rose 0.1% to 2,252, while the Dow DJIA, +0.04% advanced 16 points to 19,850. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.04% was virtually flat at 5,439.

Analysts at Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of NorthWestern Corp. (NYSE: NWE) from Sell to Hold today. The company currently has a rating of Hold on the shares. A number of other analysts have commented on the company in recent days, and NorthWestern Corp. has earned a consensus one-year price target of $56.75, above the opening price of $56.71, a difference of 10.02 percent. NorthWestern Corp. stock has a 52-week high of $63.75. Share prices sometimes get a jump to the upside when analysts upgrade a stock.

NorthWestern Corp. (NYSE: NWE) shares last traded at $56.62, an increase of $0.10 or 0.18% from the previous closing price. Opening at $56.71, they varied from $56.55 and $56.97 throughout the day.

NorthWestern Corp. (NYSE: NWE) now has a market cap of 2.74B.

NorthWestern Corp. (NYSE: NWE) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 344,521 shares out of a total float 48,029,000 and some 23,242 shares traded hands yesterday, lower than the average. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as investors often use increases in trading volume to identify heavy volume accumulation or circulation by institutional investors.

While increased trading for one day will not mean much, however, a trend of heavy trading volume on the buy side over a series of days or weeks sends a positive signal to market traders that institutions may be moving in, so institutional sponsorship is crucial.

Institutional sponsorship is defined by ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

Institutional investors such as these retain substantial teams of analysts that investigate thousands of stocks, so it is good corroboration to see them buying a stock you’re considering.

NorthWestern Corp. (NYSE: NWE) Moving Averages

A moving average can also act as support or resistance. In an uptrend a 50-day, 100-day or 200-day moving average may act as a support level, as shown in the figure below.

This is because the average acts like a floor (support), so the price bounces up off of it.

In a downtrend a moving average may act as resistance; like a ceiling, the price hits it and then starts to drop again.

By following the activity of these professional investors—and the moving averages they influence—it allows for traders to make more useful decisions on trades.

Trades for NorthWestern Corp. (NYSE: NWE) have ranged from $52.16 – 63.75, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $56.46 and 200-day MA of $58.31. Today’s last price is 11.18%% lower than the 52 week high of $63.75.

Earnings growth is an important factor to look at when investing in stocks and investors look for companies that have been successful at growing their earnings at least 25% or more for the past 3 years.

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