BidaskClub upgraded shares of Northwest Bancshares (NASDAQ:NWBI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

Several other equities research analysts also recently commented on NWBI. Zacks Investment Research raised Northwest Bancshares from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $17.00 target price on the stock in a report on Friday, October 26th. Boenning Scattergood reissued a hold rating on shares of Northwest Bancshares in a report on Tuesday, October 23rd.

NWBI stock traded down $0.02 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $17.21. The stock had a trading volume of 780,873 shares, compared to its average volume of 424,937. The stock has a market cap of $1.76 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.49, a PEG ratio of 2.35 and a beta of 0.71. Northwest Bancshares has a 52-week low of $15.34 and a 52-week high of $18.56. The company has a quick ratio of 1.00, a current ratio of 1.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.23.

Northwest Bancshares (NASDAQ:NWBI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, October 22nd. The savings and loans company reported $0.27 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.26 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $108.37 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $109.30 million. Northwest Bancshares had a return on equity of 8.27% and a net margin of 21.95%. Equities research analysts expect that Northwest Bancshares will post 1.03 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 1st will be issued a $0.17 dividend. This represents a $0.68 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.95%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, October 31st. Northwest Bancshares’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 80.95%.

In other Northwest Bancshares news, insider William J. Wagner sold 64,230 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $18.15, for a total value of $1,165,774.50. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 97,593 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,771,312.95. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Thomas J. Townsend sold 10,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $18.40, for a total value of $193,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 24,100 shares in the company, valued at $443,440. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 154,821 shares of company stock worth $2,828,275 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 2.20% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. bought a new position in shares of Northwest Bancshares during the second quarter valued at $112,000. WBI Investments Inc. bought a new position in shares of Northwest Bancshares during the second quarter valued at $175,000. Virtu Financial LLC bought a new position in shares of Northwest Bancshares during the second quarter valued at $246,000. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Northwest Bancshares by 61.7% during the first quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 14,414 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $237,000 after purchasing an additional 5,501 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB lifted its holdings in shares of Northwest Bancshares by 27.6% during the first quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 19,904 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $330,000 after purchasing an additional 4,300 shares in the last quarter. 71.46% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Northwest Bancshares

Northwest Bancshares, Inc operates as a bank holding company for Northwest Savings Bank that offers various personal and business banking solutions in the United States. The company offers personal and business deposits, such as checking, savings, money market deposit, term certificate, and individual retirement accounts.

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