Banner (NASDAQ:BANR) Lifted to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Banner (NASDAQ:BANR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Banner Corporation is a bank holding company operating two commercial banks in five Western states through a network of branches offering a full range of deposit services and business, commercial real estate, construction, residential, agricultural and consumer loans. “

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on BANR. Stephens reissued a hold rating on shares of Banner in a research note on Thursday, July 25th. Raymond James reduced their target price on Banner from $64.00 to $62.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, August 29th. BidaskClub cut Banner from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, August 10th. Finally, ValuEngine cut Banner from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, October 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $59.33.

NASDAQ BANR traded up $0.14 on Wednesday, hitting $57.07. 100,100 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 178,272. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.95 and a beta of 0.81. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a current ratio of 0.95. Banner has a 12 month low of $48.50 and a 12 month high of $64.20. The business’s fifty day moving average is $55.14 and its two-hundred day moving average is $54.38.

Banner (NASDAQ:BANR) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 23rd. The financial services provider reported $1.15 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $137.49 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $136.12 million. Banner had a return on equity of 10.08% and a net margin of 24.84%. Analysts expect that Banner will post 4.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 18th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 9th were paid a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, October 8th. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.87%. Banner’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 40.10%.

In other news, VP Cynthia D. Purcell sold 2,039 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.19, for a total transaction of $110,493.41. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director John R. Layman sold 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.17, for a total value of $27,585.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 3,039 shares of company stock worth $168,078 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 2.51% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC bought a new stake in shares of Banner in the third quarter worth about $28,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its stake in shares of Banner by 19.5% in the third quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,185 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $123,000 after purchasing an additional 356 shares during the last quarter. US Bancorp DE grew its stake in shares of Banner by 6.4% in the second quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 3,642 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $197,000 after purchasing an additional 218 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can grew its stake in shares of Banner by 205.8% in the second quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 4,186 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $227,000 after purchasing an additional 2,817 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC bought a new stake in shares of Banner in the third quarter worth about $298,000. 83.63% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Banner

Banner Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Banner Bank and Islanders Bank that provides commercial banking and financial products and services to individuals, businesses, and public sector entities primarily in the United States. It offers deposit products, 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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