Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Northwest Bancshares (NASDAQ:NWBI) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note published on Wednesday. They currently have $19.00 price objective on the savings and loans company’s stock.

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. “

Several other brokerages have also commented on NWBI. BidaskClub raised Northwest Bancshares from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $16.00 price target on shares of Northwest Bancshares in a research note on Sunday, October 8th. Finally, Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Northwest Bancshares in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $17.25.

Northwest Bancshares (NASDAQ NWBI) traded up $0.06 on Wednesday, hitting $16.51. The stock had a trading volume of 389,521 shares, compared to its average volume of 479,908. The company has a market capitalization of $1,690.00, a PE ratio of 17.38, a PEG ratio of 1.62 and a beta of 0.63. The company has a current ratio of 0.99, a quick ratio of 0.99 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19. Northwest Bancshares has a 1-year low of $14.95 and a 1-year high of $18.63.

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

In other Northwest Bancshares news, EVP Gerald J. Ritzert sold 9,592 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.57, for a total value of $158,939.44. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 50,657 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $839,386.49. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, COO Ronald J. Seiffert acquired 6,300 shares of Northwest Bancshares stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $16.30 per share, for a total transaction of $102,690.00. Following the purchase, the chief operating officer now owns 6,300 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $102,690. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 25,639 shares of company stock worth $435,808. 2.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of NWBI. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its stake 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 in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC boosted its stake 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 in the last quarter. Shelton Capital Management acquired a new position in Northwest Bancshares in the second quarter worth $158,000. Riverhead Capital Management LLC boosted its stake 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Clinton Group Inc. acquired a new position in Northwest Bancshares in the second quarter worth $160,000. 64.51% of the stock is currently owned by 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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