Northwest Bancshares (NASDAQ:NWBI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report issued on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $19.00 price objective on the savings and loans company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 15.50% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Northwest Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company whose sole activity is the ownership of all of the issued and outstanding common stock of Northwest Savings Bank and the majority ownership of Jamestown Savings Bank. Northwest Savings Bank is a stock savings bank. The bank is a community-oriented institution offering traditional deposit and loan products, and through its subsidiaries, consumer finance services. “

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Boenning Scattergood reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Northwest Bancshares in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $16.00 price objective on shares of Northwest Bancshares in a research report on Sunday, October 8th. Finally, BidaskClub raised Northwest Bancshares from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 20th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $17.25.

Shares of Northwest Bancshares (NASDAQ:NWBI) traded up $0.04 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $16.45. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 412,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 462,200. Northwest Bancshares has a one year low of $14.95 and a one year high of $18.63. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19, a quick ratio of 0.99 and a current ratio of 0.99. The firm has a market capitalization of $1,684.00, a P/E ratio of 17.50, a PEG ratio of 1.61 and a beta of 0.63.

Northwest Bancshares (NASDAQ:NWBI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 23rd. The savings and loans company reported $0.24 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.22 by $0.02. Northwest Bancshares had a return on equity of 7.54% and a net margin of 20.59%. The company had revenue of $107.83 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $106.63 million. sell-side analysts expect that Northwest Bancshares will post 0.83 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CFO William W. Harvey sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $17.28, for a total value of $172,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 158,649 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,741,454.72. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Timothy M. Hunter acquired 2,000 shares of Northwest Bancshares stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 7th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $16.75 per share, with a total value of $33,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 15,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $252,925. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders sold 25,639 shares of company stock valued at $435,808 over the last three months. 2.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of NWBI. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio lifted its position in Northwest Bancshares by 2.5% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 7,284 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $114,000 after purchasing an additional 180 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC lifted its position in Northwest Bancshares by 32.9% in the second quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 8,528 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $133,000 after purchasing an additional 2,112 shares during the period. Shelton Capital Management bought a new position in Northwest Bancshares in the second quarter worth $158,000. Riverhead Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Northwest Bancshares by 53.9% in the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 10,160 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $159,000 after purchasing an additional 3,560 shares during the period. Finally, Clinton Group Inc. bought a new position in Northwest Bancshares in the second quarter worth $160,000. 64.51% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Northwest Bancshares

Northwest Bancshares, Inc (Northwest) is a savings and loan holding company. The Company’s principal business consists of attracting deposits and making loans secured by various types of collateral, including real estate and other assets in the markets in which it operates. Its segments include Community Banking and Consumer Finance.

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