Banner Co. (BANR) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Sell

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Banner Co. (NASDAQ:BANR) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Monday.

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. “

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Banner from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, September 15th. Stephens assumed coverage on shares of Banner in a report on Wednesday, September 13th. They set an equal weight rating and a $60.00 target price on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Banner from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Saturday, August 5th. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a neutral rating on shares of Banner in a report on Friday. Finally, DA Davidson downgraded shares of Banner from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and six have issued a hold rating to the company’s stock. Banner presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $60.67.

Shares of Banner (NASDAQ BANR) traded up 1.27% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $57.32. 264,021 shares of the company traded hands. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $59.77 and its 200 day moving average is $56.70. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.91 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.97 and a beta of 1.04. Banner has a 12-month low of $44.12 and a 12-month high of $62.75.

Banner (NASDAQ:BANR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.76 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.77 by ($0.01). Banner had a net margin of 20.80% and a return on equity of 7.63%. The company had revenue of $120.55 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $123.58 million. On average, analysts expect that Banner will post $3.05 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 18th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 10th were issued a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, October 6th. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.74%. Banner’s dividend payout ratio is currently 34.01%.

In related news, VP Cynthia D. Purcell sold 1,007 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.61, for a total transaction of $55,999.27. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Gary Sirmon sold 3,335 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.49, for a total transaction of $191,729.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 7,925 shares of company stock worth $446,739 over the last 90 days. 1.71% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of BANR. Creative Planning lifted its holdings in shares of Banner by 4.6% in the second quarter. Creative Planning now owns 1,913 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $108,000 after acquiring an additional 85 shares during the last quarter. Tudor Investment Corp ET AL increased its position in Banner by 1.8% during the 2nd quarter. Tudor Investment Corp ET AL now owns 7,556 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $427,000 after purchasing an additional 134 shares during the period. Texas Permanent School Fund increased its position in Banner by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 19,145 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,082,000 after purchasing an additional 159 shares during the period. Pinebridge Investments L.P. increased its position in Banner by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Pinebridge Investments L.P. now owns 17,384 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $982,000 after purchasing an additional 237 shares during the period. Finally, Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. increased its position in Banner by 11.6% during the 2nd quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 2,893 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $163,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares during the period. 88.61% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Banner

Banner Corporation is a bank holding company. The Company is engaged in the business of planning, directing and coordinating the business activities of its subsidiaries, Banner Bank and Islanders Bank. Banner Bank is a Washington-chartered commercial bank. Banner Bank is a regional bank, which offers a range of commercial banking services and financial products to individuals, businesses and public sector entities in its primary market areas.

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