Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NWBI): Insiders Are Buying, Should You?

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Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI) was in 6 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. NWBI investors should pay attention to a decrease in enthusiasm from smart money in recent months. There were 8 hedge funds in our database with NWBI positions at the end of the previous quarter.

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit, there are tons of methods investors can use to analyze their holdings. A couple of the best are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the elite money managers can outclass the broader indices by a very impressive margin (see just how much).


Just as key, bullish insider trading sentiment is a second way to parse down the marketplace. As the old adage goes: there are lots of motivations for an upper level exec to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if investors understand what to do (learn more here).

With all of this in mind, let’s take a gander at the key action regarding Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI).

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

In preparation for this year, a total of 6 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -25% from the third quarter. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes considerably.

Of the funds we track, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group had the most valuable position in Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI), worth close to $9.2 million, comprising less than 0.1%% of its total 13F portfolio. On Citadel Investment Group’s heels is AQR Capital Management, managed by Cliff Asness, which held a $2.2 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedgies that hold long positions include Eric D. Hovde’s Hovde Capital, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies and John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors.

Since Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI) has faced declining sentiment from the smart money, it’s easy to see that there is a sect of money managers that elected to cut their entire stakes in Q4. Intriguingly, Amy Minella’s Cardinal Capital cut the largest investment of all the hedgies we track, worth about $17.1 million in stock., and Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell of Arrowstreet Capital was right behind this move, as the fund cut about $0.3 million worth. These transactions are important to note, as total hedge fund interest dropped by 2 funds in Q4.

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

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is best served when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the last half-year time frame, Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI) has seen 1 unique insiders purchasing, and 2 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine 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). This group of stocks are in the savings & loans industry and their market caps match NWBI’s market cap.

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