I have tried both with and without dividing by w with the same result. I had placed the division of w to ensure that w was always one as it should have been. I am not outputting to a depth-stencil buffer but rather a Texture2D render target. Not sure if this is the preferred method but i choose this because I eventually want to do more with the shadow map (different levels of light from the same source for semitransparent objects).
EDIT: I will try binding a depth buffer and attempt that way.
Thanks for the help!