Baird Financial Group Inc. Increases Position in Washington Federal Inc. (WAFD)

Baird Financial Group Inc. boosted its stake in Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD) by 0.8% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 534,298 shares of the bank’s stock after acquiring an additional 4,105 shares during the period. Baird Financial Group Inc.’s holdings in Washington Federal were worth $18,300,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership lifted its position in Washington Federal by 217.6% in the fourth quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 328,466 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $11,250,000 after acquiring an additional 225,038 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Washington Federal by 1.9% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,869,149 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $338,017,000 after buying an additional 186,518 shares during the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System raised its holdings in shares of Washington Federal by 24.7% in the fourth quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 62,753 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $2,149,000 after buying an additional 12,437 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its holdings in shares of Washington Federal by 7.4% in the fourth quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 207,022 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $7,091,000 after buying an additional 14,206 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its holdings in shares of Washington Federal by 11.1% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 308,742 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $10,575,000 after buying an additional 30,794 shares during the last quarter. 81.96% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Washington Federal Inc. (WAFD) opened at $35.95 on Thursday. Washington Federal Inc. has a 1-year low of $29.80 and a 1-year high of $37.70. The company has a quick ratio of 1.03, a current ratio of 1.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.20. The company has a market cap of $3,125.14, a PE ratio of 17.29, a PEG ratio of 1.49 and a beta of 1.14.

Washington Federal (NASDAQ:WAFD) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, January 17th. The bank reported $0.59 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.51 by $0.08. Washington Federal had a net margin of 30.20% and a return on equity of 9.14%. The business had revenue of $122.53 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $124.98 million. sell-side analysts anticipate that Washington Federal Inc. will post 2.44 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Washington Federal declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Wednesday, January 24th that permits the company to buyback 5,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the bank to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 23rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 9th will be paid a dividend of $0.17 per share. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.89%. This is a positive change from Washington Federal’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.15. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 8th. Washington Federal’s payout ratio is 32.85%.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on WAFD. BidaskClub raised shares of Washington Federal from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 6th. ValuEngine raised shares of Washington Federal from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. DA Davidson reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $39.00 target price on shares of Washington Federal in a report on Thursday, January 18th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $38.00 target price on shares of Washington Federal in a report on Thursday, January 18th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. Washington Federal currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $37.40.

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Washington Federal 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Washington Federal (NASDAQ:WAFD)

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