BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd increased its holdings in Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD) by 68.7% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 31,827 shares of the bank’s stock after buying an additional 12,963 shares during the period. BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd’s holdings in Washington Federal were worth $1,090,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of WAFD. Royal Bank of Canada raised its position in shares of Washington Federal by 3.7% in the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 14,445 shares of the bank’s stock worth $480,000 after buying an additional 522 shares in the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its position in shares of Washington Federal by 1.1% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 5,522 shares of the bank’s stock worth $183,000 after buying an additional 62 shares in the last quarter. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Washington Federal in the third quarter worth $306,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Washington Federal in the third quarter worth $259,000. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Washington Federal by 3.1% in the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 973,517 shares of the bank’s stock worth $32,759,000 after buying an additional 29,294 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 84.50% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD) opened at $36.00 on Wednesday. Washington Federal Inc. has a 12-month low of $29.80 and a 12-month high of $37.70. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.20, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a current ratio of 1.03. The firm has a market capitalization of $3,086.46, a PE ratio of 17.39, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.47 and a beta of 1.13.
Washington Federal announced that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Wednesday, January 24th that permits the company to buyback 5,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the bank to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 23rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 9th were given a dividend of $0.17 per share. This is an increase from Washington Federal’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.15. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 8th. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.89%. Washington Federal’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 32.85%.
A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. BidaskClub downgraded Washington Federal from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 31st. ValuEngine downgraded Washington Federal from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, November 25th. DA Davidson restated a “hold” rating and set a $39.00 price target on shares of Washington Federal in a research report on Thursday, January 18th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “hold” rating and set a $38.00 price target on shares of Washington Federal in a research report on Thursday, January 18th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $37.40.
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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