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GuruFocus has detected 5 Warning Signs with NorthWestern Corp $NWE.
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NorthWestern Corp (NYSE:NWE)
Piotroski F-Score
5 (As of Today)

The zones of discrimination were as such:

Good or high score = 7, 8, 9
Bad or low score = 0, 1, 2, 3

NorthWestern Corp has an F-score of 5 indicating the company's financial situation is typical for a stable company.

NWE' s Piotroski F-Score Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 3   Max: 7
Current: 5

3
7

During the past 13 years, the highest Piotroski F-Score of NorthWestern Corp was 7. The lowest was 3. And the median was 5.


Definition

How is the Piotroski F-Score calculated?

* All numbers are in millions except for per share data and ratio. All numbers are in their local exchange's currency.

This Year (Dec16) TTM:Last Year (Dec15) TTM:
Net Income was 38.054 + 35.569 + 44.605 + 45.944 = $164 Mil.
Cash Flow from Operations was 142.136 + -1.142 + 116.994 + 31.024 = $289 Mil.
Revenue was 332.539 + 293.12 + 300.998 + 330.59 = $1,257 Mil.
Gross Profit was 217.105 + 211.427 + 204.842 + 222.9 = $856 Mil.
Average Total Assets from the begining of this year (Dec15)
to the end of this year (Dec16) was
(5264.695 + 5261.173 + 5307.606 + 5393.941 + 5499.321) / 5 = $5345.3472 Mil.
Total Assets at the begining of this year (Dec15) was $5,265 Mil.
Long-Term Debt was $1,818 Mil.
Total Current Assets was $280 Mil.
Total Current Liabilities was $614 Mil.
Net Income was 51.425 + 30.973 + 23.798 + 45.013 = $151 Mil.

Revenue was 346.011 + 270.56 + 272.739 + 324.989 = $1,214 Mil.
Gross Profit was 233.62 + 191.033 + 199.162 + 217.62 = $841 Mil.
Average Total Assets from the begining of last year (Dec14)
to the end of last year (Dec15) was
(4973.943 + 4989.091 + 5060.068 + 5235.078 + 5264.695) / 5 = $5104.575 Mil.
Total Assets at the begining of last year (Dec14) was $4,974 Mil.
Long-Term Debt was $1,795 Mil.
Total Current Assets was $287 Mil.
Total Current Liabilities was $571 Mil.

Profitability

Question 1. Return on Assets (ROA)

Net income before extraordinary items for the year divided by total assets at the beginning of the year.

Score 1 if positive, 0 if negative.

NorthWestern Corp's current net income (TTM) was 164. ==> Positive ==> Score 1.

Question 2. Cash Flow Return on Assets (CFROA)

Net cash flow from operating activities (operating cash flow) divided by total assets at the beginning of the year.

Score 1 if positive, 0 if negative.

NorthWestern Corp's current cash flow from operations (TTM) was 289. ==> Positive ==> Score 1.

Question 3. Change in Return on Assets

Compare this year’s return on assets (1) to last year’s return on assets.

Score 1 if it’s higher, 0 if it’s lower.

ROA (This Year)=Net Income (TTM)/Total Assets at the Beginning of This Year (Dec15)
=164.172/5264.695
=0.03118357

ROA (Last Year)=Net Income (TTM)/Total Assets at the Beginning of Last Year (Dec14)
=151.209/4973.943
=0.03040023

NorthWestern Corp's return on assets of this year was 0.03118357. NorthWestern Corp's return on assets of last year was 0.03040023. ==> This year is higher. ==> Score 1.

Question 4. Quality of Earnings (Accrual)

Compare Cash flow return on assets (2) to return on assets (1)

Score 1 if CFROA > ROA, 0 if CFROA <= ROA.

NorthWestern Corp's current net income (TTM) was 164. NorthWestern Corp's current cash flow from operations (TTM) was 289. ==> 289 > 164 ==> CFROA > ROA ==> Score 1.

Funding

Question 5. Change in Gearing or Leverage

Compare this year’s gearing (long-term debt divided by average total assets) to last year’s gearing.

Score 0 if this year's gearing is higher, 1 otherwise.

Gearing (This Year: Dec16)=Long-Term Debt/Average Total Assets from Dec15 to Dec16
=1817.684/5345.3472
=0.34004975

Gearing (Last Year: Dec15)=Long-Term Debt/Average Total Assets from Dec14 to Dec15
=1794.508/5104.575
=0.35154895

NorthWestern Corp's gearing of this year was 0.34004975. NorthWestern Corp's gearing of last year was 0.35154895. ==> This year is lower or equal to last year. ==> Score 1.

Question 6. Change in Working Capital (Liquidity)

Compare this year’s current ratio (current assets divided by current liabilities) to last year’s current ratio.

Score 1 if this year'’s current ratio is higher, 0 if it’s lower

Current Ratio (This Year: Dec16)=Total Current Assets/Total Current Liabilities
=280.195/613.832
=0.45646855

Current Ratio (Last Year: Dec15)=Total Current Assets/Total Current Liabilities
=286.66/571.2
=0.50185574

NorthWestern Corp's current ratio of this year was 0.45646855. NorthWestern Corp's current ratio of last year was 0.50185574. ==> Last year's current ratio is higher ==> Score 0.

Question 7. Change in Shares in Issue

Compare the number of shares in issue this year, to the number in issue last year.

Score 0 if there is larger number of shares in issue this year, 1 otherwise.

NorthWestern Corp's number of shares in issue this year was 48.5. NorthWestern Corp's number of shares in issue last year was 47.6. ==> There is larger number of shares in issue this year. ==> Score 0.

Efficiency

Question 8. Change in Gross Margin

Compare this year’s gross margin (gross profit divided by sales) to last year’s.

Score 1 if this year’s gross margin is higher, 0 if it’s lower.

Gross Margin (This Year: TTM)=Gross Profit/Revenue
=856.274/1257.247
=0.68107062

Gross Margin (Last Year: TTM)=Gross Profit/Revenue
=841.435/1214.299
=0.69293889

NorthWestern Corp's gross margin of this year was 0.68107062. NorthWestern Corp's gross margin of last year was 0.69293889. ==> Last year's gross margin is higher ==> Score 0.

Question 9. Change in asset turnover

Compare this year’s asset turnover (total sales for the year divided by total assets at the beginning of the year) to last year’s asset turnover ratio.

Score 1 if this year’s asset turnover ratio is higher, 0 if it’s lower

Asset Turnover (This Year)=Revenue (TTM)/Total Assets at the Beginning of This Year (Dec15)
=1257.247/5264.695
=0.23880719

Asset Turnover (Last Year)=Revenue (TTM)/Total Assets at the Beginning of Last Year (Dec14)
=1214.299/4973.943
=0.24413207

NorthWestern Corp's asset turnover of this year was 0.23880719. NorthWestern Corp's asset turnover of last year was 0.24413207. ==> Last year's asset turnover is higher ==> Score 0.

Evaluation

Piotroski F-Score= Que. 1+ Que. 2+ Que. 3+Que. 4+Que. 5+Que. 6+Que. 7+Que. 8+Que. 9
=1+1+1+1+1+0+0+0+0
=5

Good or high score = 7, 8, 9
Bad or low score = 0, 1, 2, 3

NorthWestern Corp has an F-score of 5 indicating the company's financial situation is typical for a stable company.


Explanation

The developer of the system is Joseph D. Piotroski is relatively unknown accounting professor who shuns publicity and rarely gives interviews.

He graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in accounting in 1989, received an M.B.A. from Indiana University in 1994. Five years later, in 1999, after earning a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Michigan, he became an associate professor of accounting at the University of Chicago.

In 2000, he wrote a research paper called "Value Investing: The Use of Historical Financial Statement Information to Separate Winners from Losers" (pdf).

He wanted to see if he can develop a system (using a simple nine-point scoring system) that can increase the returns of a strategy of investing in low price to book (referred to in the paper as high book to market) value companies.

What he found was something that exceeded his most optimistic expectations.

Buying only those companies that scored highest (8 or 9) on his nine-point scale, or F-Score as he called it, over the 20 year period from 1976 to 1996 led to an average out-performance over the market of 13.4%.

Even more impressive were the results of a strategy of investing in the highest F-Score companies (8 or 9) and shorting companies with the lowest F-Score (0 or 1).

Over the same period from 1976 to 1996 (20 years) this strategy led to an average yearly return of 23%, substantially outperforming the average S&P 500 index return of 15.83% over the same period.


Related Terms

Net Income, Cash Flow from Operations, Revenue, Gross Profit, Total Assets, Long-Term Debt, Total Current Assets, Total Current Liabilities


Historical Data

* All numbers are in millions except for per share data and ratio. All numbers are in their local exchange's currency.

NorthWestern Corp Annual Data

Dec07Dec08Dec09Dec10Dec11Dec12Dec13Dec14Dec15Dec16
Question 1 1111111111
Question 2 1111111111
Question 3 1111110101
Question 4 1111111111
Question 5 0100100011
Question 6 0011011000
Question 7 1011000000
Question 8 0011110110
Question 9 1000000000
F-score 6577664555

NorthWestern Corp Quarterly Data

Sep14Dec14Mar15Jun15Sep15Dec15Mar16Jun16Sep16Dec16
Question 1 1111111111
Question 2 1111111111
Question 3 0111100001
Question 4 1111111111
Question 5 0000011111
Question 6 0000000000
Question 7 0000000000
Question 8 0111111100
Question 9 0000000000
F-score 3555555545
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