Washington Federal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Washington Federal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday, October 23rd. The brokerage currently has a $40.00 price objective on the bank’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 19.58% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Washington Federal have marginally outperformed the industry over the past year. The performance was supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in all the trailing four quarters. The company’s fiscal fourth-quarter 2017 (ended Sep 30) results benefitted from an improvement in revenues, partly offset by higher expenses. The company is well positioned to benefit from continued improvement in loan balances and a rising rate scenario. Further, the deal to acquire Anchor Bancorp is anticipated to be accretive to earnings. However, higher expenses and exposure to risky loan portfolios continue to keep its financials under pressure.”

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Washington Federal from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “hold” rating and issued a $34.00 price target on shares of Washington Federal in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “hold” rating and issued a $36.00 price target on shares of Washington Federal in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “hold” rating and issued a $34.00 price target on shares of Washington Federal in a research report on Friday, October 6th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of Washington Federal from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $36.00.

Washington Federal (WAFD) opened at $33.45 on Monday. Washington Federal has a 12 month low of $29.55 and a 12 month high of $35.95. The company has a current ratio of 1.02, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.11. The company has a market cap of $2,873.02, a P/E ratio of 16.99, a P/E/G ratio of 1.59 and a beta of 1.16.

Washington Federal (NASDAQ:WAFD) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 18th. The bank reported $0.52 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.49 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $128.69 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $121.46 million. Washington Federal had a net margin of 28.87% and a return on equity of 8.63%. research analysts expect that Washington Federal will post 2.07 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of WAFD. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Washington Federal by 16,855.9% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,559,901 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $316,434,000 after buying an additional 9,503,520 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC acquired a new stake in shares of Washington Federal during the 2nd quarter valued at $22,965,000. FMR LLC boosted its stake in shares of Washington Federal by 7.4% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 8,016,631 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $266,152,000 after buying an additional 549,742 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Washington Federal by 124.4% during the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 944,223 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $31,348,000 after buying an additional 523,355 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp boosted its stake in shares of Washington Federal by 12.8% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 3,039,627 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $100,916,000 after buying an additional 343,912 shares during the period. 85.33% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Washington Federal Company Profile

Washington Federal, Inc is a bank holding company. The Company conducts its operations through a federally insured national bank subsidiary, Washington Federal, National Association (the Bank). The business of the Bank consists primarily of accepting deposits from the general public and investing these funds in loans of various types, including first lien mortgages on single-family dwellings, construction loans, land acquisition and development loans, loans on multi-family, commercial real estate and other income producing properties, home equity loans and business loans.

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