Washington Federal (WAFD) Cut to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Washington Federal (NASDAQ:WAFD) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Washington Federal have underperformed the industry over the past six months. The company has an impressive earnings surprise history, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters. Its first-quarter fiscal 2019 (ended Dec 31) results reflect higher revenues while elevated expenses were on the downside. While the company is well positioned to benefit from growth in loans, higher interest rates and impressive credit quality, mounting expense levels mainly due to higher compensation costs and information technology expenses are a major near-term concern and might hurt bottom-line growth. The company's exposure to risky loan portfolios might hamper financials, going forward.”

Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. TheStreet raised shares of Washington Federal from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. BidaskClub raised shares of Washington Federal from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of Washington Federal from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $35.75.

Shares of WAFD stock traded up $0.13 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $29.33. 12,409 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 433,264. The company has a market capitalization of $2.37 billion, a PE ratio of 12.22, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.68 and a beta of 1.10. Washington Federal has a 12-month low of $24.67 and a 12-month high of $36.53. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.28, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a current ratio of 1.03.

Washington Federal (NASDAQ:WAFD) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, January 14th. The bank reported $0.65 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.61 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $138.16 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $133.33 million. Washington Federal had a net margin of 30.16% and a return on equity of 10.31%. On average, research analysts predict that Washington Federal will post 2.49 EPS for the current year.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Washington Federal by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,738,273 shares of the bank’s stock worth $313,528,000 after buying an additional 51,613 shares during the period. FMR LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Washington Federal by 18.3% during the 3rd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,115,522 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $67,696,000 after buying an additional 327,783 shares in the last quarter. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Washington Federal by 9.0% during the 3rd quarter. Frontier Capital Management Co. LLC now owns 1,980,875 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $63,388,000 after buying an additional 163,057 shares in the last quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Washington Federal by 25.3% during the 3rd quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 1,361,282 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $43,562,000 after buying an additional 274,693 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Panagora Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Washington Federal by 3.7% during the 3rd quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,206,975 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $38,623,000 after buying an additional 42,561 shares in the last quarter. 88.62% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Washington Federal Company Profile

Washington Federal, Inc operates as the bank holding company for Washington Federal, National Association that provides lending, depository, insurance, and other banking services in the United States. The company accepts deposit products, including business and personal checking accounts, and term certificates of deposit, as well as money market accounts and passbook savings accounts.

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