Trading News: Investors Keen on Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WTFC) as it Makes Headlines With Moves

Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WTFC) has been in the news after the price of the stock hit $78.5 at the conclusion of the most recent close.  The stock is traded on NSDQ in the Finance sector and Banks – Midwest industry.

Outstanding shares are common stock authorized by a company that are issued, purchased, and held by investors.  Outstanding shares include restricted shares owned by the company’s employees and officers as well as the public.  “Capital Stock” is the number of outstanding shares listed on a company’s balance sheet and is reported with the company’s quarterly filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.  Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WTFC)’s shares outstanding are 56.37.

Average Volume is the amount of securities traded in a day on average over a specific time period. Trading activity relates to the liquidity of a security.  When average volume is high, the stock has high liquidity and can be therefore easily traded, while conversely, when the trading volume is low, the commodity will be less expensive as traders are not as willing to purchase it.  Average volume has an effect on the price of the security.  Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WTFC) has experienced an average volume of 558560.38.

Market capitalization is the total dollar market value of a company’s shares. It is calculated by multiplying a company’s shares outstanding by the current market price of one share.  Investors use this figure to figure out a company’s size, as opposed to just using total asset or sales figures.  Market capitalization is important because company size is a basic indicator of multiple characteristics in which investors are interested in, including risk.  It is easy to calculate.  For example, a company with 40 million shares selling at $100 a share would have a market cap of $4 billion.  Companies are ranked according to their market caps, ranking them as large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap.  Large-cap companies usually have a market capitalization of $10 billion and up.  These large-cap companies have typically been around for a long period of time, and they are usually major players in well-established industries.  Mid-cap companies have a market capitalization of $2 billion – $10 billion.  Mid-cap companies operate in industries expected to experience rapid growth.  Companies that have a market capitalization $300 million – $2 billion are classified as small-cap companies.  These companies are usually young in age and they could serve new industries as well as niche markets.   Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WTFC)’s market cap is $4424.63.

Any given stock may have anywhere between 1 to 40 brokerage analysts making EPS estimates as they follow the company.  Zacks have been tracking these sell-side analyst estimates for more than 25 years, creating consensus EPS estimates.  These estimates are the average of all of the current estimates that are made available by brokerage analysts.  Consensus estimates are better because they reduce the risk of any single analyst making an incorrect forecast. In the case of Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WTFC), Zacks tracked 9 brokers to create the consensus EPS estimate.

Zacks calculates consensus estimates for the current quarter, the following quarter, the current fiscal year, the following fiscal year, and also a long-term growth rate.  A company can “Meet” the same earnings as forecast, “Beat” the earnings than forecast, or “Miss” (fall below) the earnings than forecast.  Missing a forecast, of course, is the worst outcome, as it indicates that the company is not performing as well as investors thought.  A “Miss” often causes the share price to fall.

Zacks tracked 7 analysts to create quarterly consensus estimate of 1.56 for Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WTFC). 

Zacks tracked 7 analysts to create a consensus of 1.54 for the last completed fiscal quarter for Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WTFC).

Zacks provides an Average of Brokerage Recommendations (ABR) on a given stock.  The ABR is a quick snapshot of where Wall Street stands on a stock without having to sift through countless research reports.  All brokerage research reports carry recommendations of some form.  The various firms use different terms for their rating systems, i.e. using “Outperform instead of “Buy”, but Zacks properly sorts them into their 5-level classification system. Each of the 5 classifications has a value associated with it that helps compute ABR.  The lower the ABR, the more favorable Wall Street views the company.

Zacks finds only modest value in knowing the current ABR for a stock. Knowing the direction that the ABR is moving is considered to be far more valuable.  Stocks with improving ABRs will outperform the market and those with eroding ABRs will underperform.  Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WTFC)’s ABR in it’s industry is ranked 198 and a number of 1.89.

Within the investment industry, Zacks Investment Research is considered to be one of the most highly regarded firms.  Zacks says that the guiding principle behind their business is that there is a reason why brokerage firms to spend billions of dollars a year on stock research.  These investment experts must know something special that’s indicative of the direction of future stock prices.  Zacks goal is to unlock that secret knowledge and make it available to their clients to help them improve their results. 

In 1978, Len Zacks, founder of the company, discovered that earnings estimate revisions are the most powerful force impacting stock prices.  From that starting point he developed a quantitative model which harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions, such as the degree of change, the surprises, and the direction to create the Zacks Rank.  The Zacks innovative and unique rating system predicts the potential for future stock price increases.  The system also clearly states when to buy, sell, or hold a stock. 

Len Zacks, a mathematician, created a system that is completely objective and mathematical, removing all emotion from the equation.  The rank only cares whether the math predicts that the price will rise.  In the ensuing years, Zacks Investment Research has become one of the most respected firms on Wall Street.  Today, Wall Street uses Zacks Rank along with Zacks Equity Research, a method that combines the best of qualitative and quantitative analysis.        

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