Washington Federal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday. The brokerage currently has a $40.00 price objective on the bank’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 13.31% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Washington Federal have marginally outperformed the industry over the past year. The performance was supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in all the trailing four quarters. The company’s fiscal fourth-quarter 2017 (ended Sep 30) results benefitted from an improvement in revenues, partly offset by higher expenses. The company is well positioned to benefit from continued improvement in loan balances and a rising rate scenario. Further, the deal to acquire Anchor Bancorp is anticipated to be accretive to earnings. However, higher expenses and exposure to risky loan portfolios continue to keep its financials under pressure.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “hold” rating and set a $36.00 price target on shares of Washington Federal in a report on Friday. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “hold” rating and set a $34.00 price target on shares of Washington Federal in a report on Friday, October 6th. ValuEngine upgraded Washington Federal from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. BidaskClub cut Washington Federal from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “hold” rating and set a $34.00 price target on shares of Washington Federal in a report on Tuesday, July 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $36.00.

Shares of Washington Federal (NASDAQ:WAFD) traded down 1.204% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $34.875. 186,372 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The company has a 50 day moving average of $33.00 and a 200 day moving average of $32.98. The company has a market cap of $3.08 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.346 and a beta of 1.14. Washington Federal has a 12 month low of $26.63 and a 12 month high of $35.95.

Washington Federal (NASDAQ:WAFD) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The bank reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.49 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $128.69 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $121.46 million. Washington Federal had a return on equity of 8.63% and a net margin of 28.87%. Analysts expect that Washington Federal will post $2.06 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, Director Thomas J. Kelley sold 6,100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.72, for a total transaction of $205,692.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 21,185 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $714,358.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 1.28% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Creative Planning raised its position in shares of Washington Federal by 3.1% during the second quarter. Creative Planning now owns 3,327 shares of the bank’s stock worth $110,000 after purchasing an additional 101 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its position in shares of Washington Federal by 7.9% during the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 4,117 shares of the bank’s stock worth $137,000 after purchasing an additional 301 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its position in shares of Washington Federal by 1.1% during the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 5,522 shares of the bank’s stock worth $183,000 after purchasing an additional 62 shares during the period. OppenheimerFunds Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Washington Federal during the first quarter worth approximately $201,000. Finally, Capital One National Association acquired a new position in shares of Washington Federal during the second quarter worth approximately $208,000. 83.81% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Washington Federal

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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