On March 24, 2014, we issued an updated research report on
Washington Federal Inc.
). The company has been growing and enhancing its market share
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Earlier this year, Washington Federal announced a deal to acquire
23 branches in Arizona and Nevada from
Bank of America Corporation
). Further, in 2013, it completed the acquisition of 51 branches
from BofA located in Eastern Washington, Idaho, Oregon and New
Mexico for $39 million. Given its strong balance sheet position,
we believe that Washington Federal is poised to continue
Moreover, the company reported better-than-expected first-quarter
fiscal 2014 results (ended Dec 31), based on improvement in top
line and lower provisions. Further, consistent improvement in
asset quality and strong profitability ratios were the other
Additionally, Washington Federal is an asset for yield-seeking
investors. The company has been increasing its quarterly dividend
every year and has a steady share repurchase program in place as
Continuous improvement in credit quality is a strong catalyst for
Washington Federal. Since fiscal 2010, credit costs (including
provision for loan losses and gains/losses on sales of REO) have
Over the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal
2014 has remained stable at $1.58 per share and the Zacks
Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2015 increased 1.2% to $1.69 per
Washington Federal now has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Stocks That Warrant a Look
Some better-ranked stocks in the same sector include
Meridian Interstate Bancorp, Inc.
West Bancorp., Inc.
). Both of these sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).