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 presently has a $40.00 price target on the bank’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 14.86% from the company’s previous close.

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.”

Several other research analysts have also weighed in on WAFD. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $34.00 target price on shares of Washington Federal in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Washington Federal from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. ValuEngine lowered shares of Washington Federal from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 7th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $35.00 target price on shares of Washington Federal in a research note on Friday, September 8th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $34.00 target price on shares of Washington Federal in a research note on Friday, October 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $36.00.

Washington Federal (NASDAQ:WAFD) traded down 1.204% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $34.875. 204,259 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.08 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.346 and a beta of 1.14. Washington Federal has a 1-year low of $26.63 and a 1-year high of $35.95. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $33.00 and a 200-day moving average of $32.98.

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

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In other news, Director Thomas J. Kelley sold 6,100 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $33.72, for a total value of $205,692.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 21,185 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $714,358.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 1.28% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Washington Federal by 4.4% in the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 719,720 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $23,895,000 after purchasing an additional 30,410 shares during the period. Brighton Jones LLC purchased a new position in shares of Washington Federal in the second quarter valued at approximately $221,000. Alpha Windward LLC boosted its stake in shares of Washington Federal by 8.0% in the second quarter. Alpha Windward LLC now owns 14,975 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $497,000 after purchasing an additional 1,115 shares during the period. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. boosted its stake in shares of Washington Federal by 3.2% in the second quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 283,764 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $9,420,000 after purchasing an additional 8,882 shares during the period. Finally, State of Tennessee Treasury Department boosted its stake in shares of Washington Federal by 10.5% in the second quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 210,000 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $6,972,000 after purchasing an additional 20,000 shares during the period. 83.81% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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