Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Columbia Banking System, Inc. (NASDAQ:COLB) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Wednesday.

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. “

Other analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $44.00 price target on shares of Columbia Banking System in a report on Friday, June 16th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $44.00 price target on shares of Columbia Banking System in a report on Tuesday, May 9th. Piper Jaffray Companies decreased their price target on Columbia Banking System from $43.00 to $41.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a report on Monday, April 17th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded Columbia Banking System from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, July 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $43.40.

Shares of Columbia Banking System (NASDAQ COLB) opened at 38.40 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.21 billion, a PE ratio of 19.48 and a beta of 1.22. Columbia Banking System has a 1-year low of $29.95 and a 1-year high of $45.68. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $39.72 and a 200-day moving average price of $39.45.

Columbia Banking System (NASDAQ:COLB) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $0.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $110.30 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $112.27 million. Columbia Banking System had a return on equity of 8.99% and a net margin of 25.82%. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.44 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Columbia Banking System will post $2.04 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 23rd. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, August 9th will be issued a dividend of $0.22 per share. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.29%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, August 7th. Columbia Banking System’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 44.67%.

In other Columbia Banking System news, CFO Clint Stein sold 8,000 shares of Columbia Banking System stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.09, for a total transaction of $320,720.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 22,877 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $917,138.93. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 1.23% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Columbia Banking System by 49,309.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,207,371 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $281,015,000 after buying an additional 7,192,784 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in Columbia Banking System by 74.9% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,754,433 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $107,399,000 after buying an additional 1,179,254 shares during the last quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC increased its stake in Columbia Banking System by 109.9% in the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 1,302,419 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $50,781,000 after buying an additional 681,910 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Columbia Banking System during the fourth quarter valued at $18,717,000. Finally, Tributary Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Columbia Banking System during the second quarter valued at $12,655,000. 94.88% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Columbia Banking System

Columbia Banking System, Inc (Columbia) is a bank holding company for Columbia State Bank (the Bank) and Columbia Trust Company (Columbia Trust). The Company provides a range of banking services to small and medium-sized businesses, professionals and individuals. It offers products and services, which include Personal Banking, Business Banking and Wealth Management.

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