Northwest Bancshares Inc. (NWBI) stock slips after being downgraded at Sandler O’Neill

Northwest Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: NWBI) shares fell on Monday Dec 19 with lower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a downgraded rating.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.22% was trading up 37 points, or 0.2%, at 19,879, inching up to break the psychologically important 20,000 level.

The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.20% was up 6 points, or 0.3% at 2,264, with nine of the 11 main sectors trading higher.

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.32% added 18 points, or 0.3% to 5,455.

Analysts at Sandler O’Neill downgraded shares of Northwest Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: NWBI) from Hold to Sell in a research note to investors today. Sandler O’Neill currently has a rating of Sell on the shares. As a means of comparison, a number of other analysts have issued reports on the stock recently, and Northwest Bancshares Inc. has earned a consensus one-year price target of $17.17, a decrease compared to the opening price of $18.14, a difference of 9.60 percent. Northwest Bancshares Inc. stock has a 52-week high of $19.10. Downgrades occur when analysts consider that the future prospects for the security have diminished from the original recommendation, often because of a material and crucial change in the company’s operations, future direction or industry.

Northwest Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: NWBI) shares last traded at $17.89, which represents a dip of $0.60 per share or -3.24% from the previous closing price. Opening at $18.14, they varied from $17.86 and $18.21 throughout the day.

Northwest Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: NWBI) currently has a market cap of 1.81B.

Northwest Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: NWBI) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 596,380 shares out of a total float 99,347,000 and some 222,861 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, lower than the average. Trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days as swing traders often use upticks in trading volume to pinpoint substantial volume accumulation or dissemination by institutional investors.

As with all potential breakouts, investors watch for volume to be at least 40%-50% higher than normal on the breakout to indicate that fund managers and other professional investors are jumping in.

Institutional sponsorship just refers to ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

Professional investors such as these retain teams of analysts that investigate thousands of stocks. Thus, watching their interests is a good way to ensure you are buying the right stocks.

Northwest Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: NWBI) Moving Averages

A moving average can also act as support or resistance. In an uptrend a 50-day, 100-day or 200-day moving average may act as a support level, as shown in the figure below.

This is because the average acts like a floor (support), so the price bounces up off of it.

In a downtrend a moving average may act as resistance; like a ceiling, the price hits it and then starts to drop again.

Traders are able to make make well planned trades when they follow the trading habits of professional investors.

Trades for Northwest Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: NWBI) have ranged from $11.77 – 19.10, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $17.58 and 200-day MA of $15.73. Today’s last price is 6.34%% under the 52 week high of $19.10.

Earnings growth is a crucial factor to look at when buying stocks and investors seek companies that have increased their earnings by at least 25% for 3 consecutive years.

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