Northwest Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI) was the target of a large decrease in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 6,918,569 shares, a decrease of 20.6% from the August 15th total of 8,716,474 shares. Currently, 7.3% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 373,451 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 18.5 days.

A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on NWBI shares. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods increased their price target on Northwest Bancshares from $14.00 to $15.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 13th. FBR & Co started coverage on Northwest Bancshares in a research report on Wednesday, June 1st. They set a “market perform” rating and a $14.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Northwest Bancshares from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th.

Shares of Northwest Bancshares (NASDAQ:NWBI) opened at 15.51 on Thursday. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $15.29 and its 200-day moving average price is $14.46. Northwest Bancshares has a 52 week low of $11.78 and a 52 week high of $15.69. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.59 billion, a PE ratio of 38.01 and a beta of 0.49.

Northwest Bancshares (NASDAQ:NWBI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, July 25th. The company reported ($0.07) EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.27. Northwest Bancshares had a return on equity of 6.16% and a net margin of 9.62%. Equities research analysts predict that Northwest Bancshares will post $0.58 EPS for the current year.

In other news, VP Michael G. Smelko sold 10,125 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $14.98, for a total transaction of $151,672.50. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 72,171 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,081,121.58. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Insiders own 2.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Northwest Bancshares by 68.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,827 shares of the company’s stock worth $133,000 after buying an additional 4,009 shares in the last quarter. A.R.T. Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Northwest Bancshares during the first quarter worth approximately $149,000. GW Henssler & Associates Ltd. acquired a new stake in Northwest Bancshares during the second quarter worth approximately $155,000. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new stake in Northwest Bancshares during the second quarter worth approximately $164,000. Finally, Amalgamated Bank increased its stake in Northwest Bancshares by 5.5% in the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 11,493 shares of the company’s stock worth $174,000 after buying an additional 600 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 65.74% of the company’s stock.

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 subsidiary, Northwest Bank, is a Pennsylvania-chartered stock savings bank.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:NWBI

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