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

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. “

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on COLB. Piper Jaffray Companies upgraded Columbia Banking System from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and lifted their target price for the company from $43.00 to $46.00 in a research report on Monday. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a hold rating and issued a $42.00 target price on shares of Columbia Banking System in a research report on Friday, July 28th. BidaskClub downgraded Columbia Banking System from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a hold rating and issued a $44.00 target price on shares of Columbia Banking System in a research report on Friday, June 16th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $44.40.

Shares of Columbia Banking System (COLB) traded down 0.45% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $39.63. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 16,583 shares. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $39.66 and a 200-day moving average of $39.38. The company has a market capitalization of $2.31 billion, a PE ratio of 20.11 and a beta of 1.22. Columbia Banking System has a 1-year low of $30.00 and a 1-year high of $45.68.

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

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 23rd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 9th will be paid a $0.22 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, August 7th. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.21%. Columbia Banking System’s payout ratio is presently 44.67%.

In other news, CFO Clint Stein sold 8,000 shares of Columbia Banking System stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.09, for a total value 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 $917,138.93. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Insiders own 1.23% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in shares of Columbia Banking System by 32.9% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 188,843 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $7,362,000 after buying an additional 46,732 shares during the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Columbia Banking System by 5.6% in the first quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 614,351 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $23,954,000 after buying an additional 32,845 shares during the last quarter. Granite Investment Partners LLC boosted its stake in shares of Columbia Banking System by 11.3% in the first quarter. Granite Investment Partners LLC now owns 283,413 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $11,051,000 after buying an additional 28,762 shares during the last quarter. Sit Investment Associates Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Columbia Banking System by 340.0% in the first quarter. Sit Investment Associates Inc. now owns 14,300 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $558,000 after buying an additional 11,050 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Fisher Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Columbia Banking System by 41.9% in the first quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 66,888 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,608,000 after buying an additional 19,753 shares during the last quarter. 95.49% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Columbia Banking System Company Profile

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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