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Here is What Hedge Funds Think About Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NWBI)

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Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI) has seen an increase in hedge fund sentiment in recent months.

To the average investor, there are plenty of gauges market participants can use to analyze their holdings. A pair of the best are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best money managers can outperform the S&P 500 by a significant margin (see just how much).

Ken Griffin CITADEL INVESTMENT GROUPJust as key, optimistic insider trading activity is another way to break down the investments you’re interested in. As the old adage goes: there are lots of reasons for an insider to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Several academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if “monkeys” understand what to do (learn more here).

Consequently, we’re going to take a gander at the key action surrounding Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI).

What have hedge funds been doing with Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI)?

In preparation for this quarter, a total of 13 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 86% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings meaningfully.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group had the most valuable position in Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI), worth close to $18 million, accounting for less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies, with a $8.1 million position; less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Some other peers that are bullish include Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management and John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors.

Consequently, specific money managers have jumped into Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI) headfirst. Millennium Management, managed by Israel Englander, assembled the largest position in Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI). Millennium Management had 2.6 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Matthew Tewksbury’s Stevens Capital Management also made a $1 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw, Paul Tudor Jones’s Tudor Investment Corp, and Matthew Hulsizer’s PEAK6 Capital Management.

How are insiders trading Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is most useful when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the last 180-day time period, Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI) has seen 1 unique insiders buying, and 2 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI). These stocks are Flagstar Bancorp Inc (NYSE:FBC), Columbia Banking System Inc (NASDAQ:COLB), Provident Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE:PFS), Astoria Financial Corp (NYSE:AF), and Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA). All of these stocks are in the savings & loans industry and their market caps are similar to NWBI’s market cap.

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