Short Interest in Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD) Decreases By 10.2%

Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD) saw a significant drop in short interest in September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 3,510,000 shares, a drop of 10.2% from the August 30th total of 3,910,000 shares. Approximately 4.5% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 443,100 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 7.9 days.

Several research analysts recently commented on WAFD shares. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $34.00 price target on Washington Federal and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 8th. ValuEngine lowered Washington Federal from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Washington Federal from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $34.00.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WAFD. Clearbridge Investments LLC grew its position in Washington Federal by 2.7% in the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 603,744 shares of the bank’s stock worth $17,442,000 after acquiring an additional 15,700 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its position in shares of Washington Federal by 67.7% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 72,140 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $2,084,000 after buying an additional 29,112 shares during the period. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. boosted its position in shares of Washington Federal by 3.8% during the second quarter. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. now owns 8,040 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $281,000 after buying an additional 294 shares during the period. Foundry Partners LLC boosted its position in shares of Washington Federal by 11.0% during the second quarter. Foundry Partners LLC now owns 591,323 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $20,655,000 after buying an additional 58,456 shares during the period. Finally, Strs Ohio boosted its position in shares of Washington Federal by 67.6% during the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 5,700 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $199,000 after buying an additional 2,300 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 84.34% of the company’s stock.

WAFD traded down $0.06 on Monday, hitting $36.67. The company had a trading volume of 5,773 shares, compared to its average volume of 371,773. The company has a market cap of $2.88 billion, a PE ratio of 15.28 and a beta of 1.13. Washington Federal has a 12-month low of $24.67 and a 12-month high of $38.26. The company has a quick ratio of 1.03, a current ratio of 1.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.24. The business’s fifty day simple moving average is $36.37 and its 200 day simple moving average is $34.00.

Washington Federal (NASDAQ:WAFD) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 16th. The bank reported $0.67 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $135.71 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $134.17 million. Washington Federal had a return on equity of 10.47% and a net margin of 29.19%. On average, analysts anticipate that Washington Federal will post 2.61 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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.

Further Reading: Intrinsic Value and Stock Selection

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