Columbia Banking System Inc (COLB) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research

Columbia Banking System Inc (NASDAQ:COLB) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Monday. The brokerage presently has a $45.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective points to a potential upside of 14.18% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Columbia Banking System, Inc. is a registered bank holding company whose wholly owned subsidiary, Columbia State Bank,conducts a full-service commercial banking business. Headquartered in Tacoma, Washington, the Company provides a full range of banking services to small and medium-sized businesses, professionals and other individuals through banking offices located in the Tacoma metropolitan area and contiguous parts of the Puget Sound region of Washington, as well as the Longview and Woodland communities in southwestern Washington. “

Separately, DA Davidson raised shares of Columbia Banking System from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday.

Shares of Columbia Banking System (NASDAQ:COLB) traded down 2.21% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $39.41. 385,564 shares of the stock were exchanged. The company has a market cap of $2.29 billion, a PE ratio of 21.81 and a beta of 1.32. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $39.92 and a 200-day moving average price of $38.01. Columbia Banking System has a 12-month low of $26.17 and a 12-month high of $45.68.

Columbia Banking System (NASDAQ:COLB) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.53 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.49 by $0.04. Columbia Banking System had a net margin of 24.61% and a return on equity of 8.44%. The firm had revenue of $108.07 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $111.40 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.46 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Columbia Banking System will post $2.00 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, February 22nd. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 8th were paid a dividend of $0.22 per share. This is an increase from Columbia Banking System’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. The ex-dividend date was Monday, February 6th. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.23%. Columbia Banking System’s payout ratio is 48.62%.

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In related news, CAO Barry Ray sold 981 shares of Columbia Banking System stock in a transaction on Friday, March 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.42, for a total transaction of $38,671.02. Following the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 12,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $473,040. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in Columbia Banking System by 60.7% in the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,783,749 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $91,084,000 after buying an additional 1,052,016 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. purchased a new stake in Columbia Banking System during the fourth quarter valued at about $25,971,000. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Columbia Banking System during the fourth quarter valued at about $18,717,000. BlackRock Group LTD increased its stake in Columbia Banking System by 476.2% in the third quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 497,042 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $16,263,000 after buying an additional 410,784 shares during the period. Finally, Perkins Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Columbia Banking System by 37.2% in the third quarter. Perkins Investment Management LLC now owns 1,348,494 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $44,123,000 after buying an additional 365,377 shares during the period. 91.28% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Columbia Banking System

Columbia Banking System, Inc is a bank holding company of Columbia State Bank (the Bank) and West Coast Trust Company, Inc The Company provides a range of banking services to small and medium-sized businesses, professionals and individuals throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The Bank provides a range of financial services through approximately 150 branch locations in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:COLB

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