Columbia Banking System Inc (NASDAQ:COLB) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Monday. The firm presently has a $45.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price points to a potential upside of 14.18% from the stock’s current price.

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. “

Separately, DA Davidson upgraded shares of Columbia Banking System from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Thursday.

Columbia Banking System (NASDAQ:COLB) traded down 2.21% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $39.41. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 385,564 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $2.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.81 and a beta of 1.32. Columbia Banking System has a one year low of $26.17 and a one year high of $45.68. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $39.92 and a 200-day moving average price of $38.01.

Columbia Banking System (NASDAQ:COLB) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, January 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.53 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.49 by $0.04. The firm earned $108.07 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $111.40 million. Columbia Banking System had a net margin of 24.61% and a return on equity of 8.44%. The company’s revenue was up 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.46 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Columbia Banking System will post $2.00 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, February 22nd. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, February 8th were paid a $0.22 dividend. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.23%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, February 6th. This is an increase from Columbia Banking System’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. Columbia Banking System’s dividend payout ratio is currently 48.62%.

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In other Columbia Banking System news, CAO Barry Ray sold 981 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.42, for a total value of $38,671.02. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 12,000 shares in the company, valued at $473,040. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in COLB. Elkfork Partners LLC bought a new position in Columbia Banking System during the fourth quarter valued at about $188,000. A.R.T. Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Columbia Banking System during the fourth quarter worth approximately $221,000. Bienville Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Columbia Banking System during the fourth quarter worth approximately $232,000. Tudor Investment Corp Et Al acquired a new stake in shares of Columbia Banking System during the fourth quarter worth approximately $244,000. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Columbia Banking System during the fourth quarter worth approximately $248,000. Institutional investors own 91.28% of the company’s stock.

Columbia Banking System Company Profile

Columbia Banking System, Inc is a bank holding company of Columbia State Bank (the Bank) and West Coast Trust Company, Inc The Company provides a range of banking services to small and medium-sized businesses, professionals and individuals throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The Bank provides a range of financial services through approximately 150 branch locations in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

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