Columbia Banking System, Inc. (NASDAQ:COLB) has been assigned an average rating of “Hold” from the six research firms that are currently covering the stock, MarketBeat reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, three have given a hold recommendation and two have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month price target among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $44.25.

Several analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of Columbia Banking System in a research note on Friday, June 16th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of Columbia Banking System in a research note on Tuesday, May 9th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Columbia Banking System from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 9th. BidaskClub cut shares of Columbia Banking System from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies raised shares of Columbia Banking System from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $43.00 to $46.00 in a research note on Monday, July 31st.

In related news, CFO Clint Stein sold 8,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.09, for a total transaction 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 approximately $917,138.93. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 1.23% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Columbia Banking System by 49,309.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,207,371 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $281,015,000 after buying an additional 7,192,784 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Columbia Banking System by 1.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,452,239 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $217,272,000 after buying an additional 88,252 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of Columbia Banking System by 3.6% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,910,224 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $113,470,000 after buying an additional 102,386 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Columbia Banking System by 1.7% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,774,320 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $108,170,000 after buying an additional 46,048 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Columbia Banking System by 74.9% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,754,433 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $107,399,000 after buying an additional 1,179,254 shares during the period. 95.91% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Columbia Banking System (NASDAQ COLB) traded up 0.16% on Friday, hitting $36.66. The stock had a trading volume of 584,200 shares. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $39.07 and its 200 day moving average price is $39.14. The firm has a market cap of $2.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.62 and a beta of 1.22. Columbia Banking System has a one year low of $31.60 and a one year high of $45.68.

Columbia Banking System (NASDAQ:COLB) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $0.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ 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 company had revenue of $110.30 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $112.27 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.44 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Columbia Banking System will post $2.03 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 23rd. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 9th will be given a dividend of $0.22 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, August 7th. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.40%. Columbia Banking System’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 44.67%.

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About Columbia Banking System

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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