First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ:FNFG) saw strong trading volume on Thursday . 4,209,695 shares were traded during mid-day trading, an increase of 50% from the previous session’s volume of 2,804,593 shares.The stock last traded at $10.30 and had previously closed at $10.12.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on FNFG shares. Zacks Investment Research raised First Niagara Financial Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, April 25th. TheStreet raised First Niagara Financial Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 20th. Raymond James Financial Inc. raised First Niagara Financial Group from an “underperform” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 17th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $11.00 target price on shares of First Niagara Financial Group in a report on Tuesday, April 5th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $10.36.

The company’s 50-day moving average price is $10.19 and its 200-day moving average price is $10.01. The firm has a market cap of $3.61 billion and a PE ratio of 19.42.

First Niagara Financial Group (NASDAQ:FNFG) last posted its earnings results on Friday, April 29th. The financial services provider reported $0.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.14. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.12 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that First Niagara Financial Group Inc. will post $0.58 EPS for the current year.

In related news, EVP Mark R. Rendulic sold 35,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $10.17, for a total value of $355,950.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 130,908 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,331,334.36. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Austin A. Adams purchased 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 3rd. The stock was bought at an average cost of $10.31 per share, for a total transaction of $51,550.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 37,879 shares in the company, valued at approximately $390,532.49. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors recently modified their holdings of the company. Morgan Stanley raised its position in shares of First Niagara Financial Group by 1,248.9% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 7,869,019 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $85,378,000 after buying an additional 7,285,635 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of First Niagara Financial Group by 3.0% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 24,164,858 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $262,190,000 after buying an additional 697,173 shares in the last quarter. P Schoenfeld Asset Management LP bought a new position in shares of First Niagara Financial Group during the fourth quarter worth $5,968,000. Cowen Group Inc. bought a new position in shares of First Niagara Financial Group during the fourth quarter worth $5,485,000. Finally, Deimos Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of First Niagara Financial Group during the fourth quarter worth $2,062,000.

First Niagara Financial Group Inc is a bank holding company for First Niagara Bank, N.A. (the Bank). The Bank is engaged in providing financial services to individuals and businesses in New York, Western and Eastern Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Western Massachusetts. The Bank is a nationally chartered regional bank providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses.

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