On Apr 6, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
Columbia Banking System Inc.
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Columbia Banking has been witnessing rising earnings estimates
owing to the completion of its acquisition and a hike in its
quarterly cash dividend. Moreover, this regional bank has a
long-term earnings growth forecast of 11.0%.
On Apr 1, 2013, Columbia Banking announced the closure of its
acquisition of West Coast Bancorp. Upon completion, the company's
total assets exceeded $7.0 billion, with 157 branches in Wash.
and Oregon. This cash and stock deal was announced in Sep 2012.
Additionally, in Jan 2013, Colombia Banking announced a 10% rise
in its quarterly cash dividend. The cash dividend of 10 cents per
share was paid on Feb 20 to shareholders of record on Feb 6.
Hence, the company's dividend yield currently stands at 1.88%.
Moreover, Colombia Banking's fourth quarter earnings were 13.3%
above the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Better-than-expected results
were aided by an increase in fee income and decrease in operating
expenses. These were partially offset by a decline in net
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for first quarter 2013 is pegged at
31 cents per share along with a revenue estimate of $70 million.
Moreover, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 4.5% to
$1.40 per share over the last 60 days.
Other Stocks to Consider
Besides Colombia Banking, other regional banks such as,
Glacier Bancorp Inc.
The Bancorp Inc.
First Connecticut Bancorp, Inc.
) carry a Zacks Rank #1 and are worth considering.
COLUMBIA BK SYS (COLB): Free Stock Analysis
FIRST CT BANCRP (FBNK): Free Stock Analysis
GLACIER BANCORP (GBCI): Free Stock Analysis
BANCORP BNK/THE (TBBK): Free Stock Analysis
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