Raymond James upgraded shares of Banner (NASDAQ:BANR) from an outperform rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday, Analyst Ratings Network reports. The brokerage currently has $63.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock, up from their previous price objective of $57.00.

BANR has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Stephens began coverage on shares of Banner in a report on Tuesday, January 5th. They set an equal weight rating on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Banner from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $60.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, April 1st. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott downgraded shares of Banner from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $55.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Monday, January 25th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $57.00.

BANR opened at $54.05 on Wednesday. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $54.65 and its 200-day simple moving average is $45.92. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a current ratio of 0.88. Banner has a twelve month low of $27.76 and a twelve month high of $60.42. The firm has a market cap of $1.88 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.32 and a beta of 1.14.

Banner (NASDAQ:BANR) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, January 20th. The financial services provider reported $1.10 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.18. Banner had a net margin of 17.88% and a return on equity of 7.38%. The business had revenue of $144.95 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $145.41 million. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Banner will post 3.25 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, February 16th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 4th were given a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, February 3rd. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.03%. Banner’s payout ratio is presently 37.44%.

In related news, VP Steven W. Rust sold 1,169 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.59, for a total value of $67,322.71. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Company insiders own 2.13% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. First Trust Advisors LP raised its position in shares of Banner by 164.8% in the 4th quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 109,972 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,124,000 after acquiring an additional 68,436 shares during the period. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership raised its position in shares of Banner by 30.3% in the 3rd quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 103,828 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,349,000 after acquiring an additional 24,143 shares during the period. Citigroup Inc. raised its position in shares of Banner by 79.6% in the 4th quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 9,849 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $458,000 after acquiring an additional 4,365 shares during the period. Creative Planning acquired a new stake in Banner during the 4th quarter worth approximately $206,000. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers raised its holdings in Banner by 7.8% during the 4th quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 128,475 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,986,000 after buying an additional 9,344 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 82.52% of the company’s stock.

About Banner

Banner Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Banner Bank that provide commercial banking and financial products and services to individuals, businesses, and public sector entities in the United States. It accepts various deposit instruments, including interest-bearing and non-interest-bearing checking accounts, money market deposit accounts, regular savings accounts, and certificates of deposit, as well as treasury management services and retirement savings plans.

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