Northwest Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI) shares reached a new 52-week high during trading on Friday . The company traded as high as $15.29 and last traded at $15.29, with a volume of 361,377 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $15.19.

A number of research firms have weighed in on NWBI. FBR & Co began coverage on Northwest Bancshares in a report on Wednesday, June 1st. They set a “market perform” rating and a $14.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Northwest Bancshares from a “sell” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $16.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, May 4th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada upped their target price on Northwest Bancshares from $14.00 to $15.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, May 2nd.

The stock has a market cap of $1.56 billion and a PE ratio of 37.40. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $14.97 and a 200-day moving average price of $13.97.

Northwest Bancshares (NASDAQ:NWBI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, July 25th. The company reported ($0.07) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.27. Analysts expect that Northwest Bancshares Inc. will post $0.58 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 18th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 4th were given a dividend of $0.15 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 2nd. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.93%.

In related news, insider Julia W. Mctavish sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $14.76, for a total transaction of $36,900.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 51,804 shares in the company, valued at approximately $764,627.04. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Michael G. Smelko sold 10,125 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here.

An institutional investor recently raised its position in Northwest Bancshares stock. New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its stake in Northwest Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI) by 8.6% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 93,600 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 7,400 shares during the period. New York State Common Retirement Fund owned approximately 0.09% of Northwest Bancshares worth $1,253,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

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.

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