Shares of Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR) have earned an average rating of “Hold” from the six analysts that are covering the firm, MarketBeat.com reports. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and two have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12-month target price among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $53.33.

Several equities analysts have issued reports on BANR shares. BidaskClub raised Banner Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 14th. Zacks Investment Research raised Banner Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, July 3rd. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies dropped their price objective on Banner Corporation from $64.00 to $62.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, April 17th.

In related news, Director Gary Sirmon sold 3,333 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.46, for a total transaction of $184,848.18. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. In the last three months, insiders have sold 7,005 shares of company stock worth $392,450. Corporate insiders own 1.71% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Stifel Financial Corp raised its position in Banner Corporation by 21.3% in the first quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 63,242 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,521,000 after buying an additional 11,100 shares in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its position in Banner Corporation by 90.9% in the first quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 71,007 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,950,000 after buying an additional 33,807 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new position in Banner Corporation during the fourth quarter worth about $12,175,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its position in Banner Corporation by 2.6% in the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 202,923 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $11,291,000 after buying an additional 5,106 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nuveen Asset Management LLC raised its position in Banner Corporation by 42.7% in the first quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 555,726 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $30,921,000 after buying an additional 166,373 shares in the last quarter. 88.75% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR) traded up 0.54% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $57.36. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 148,077 shares. The company’s 50-day moving average is $56.36 and its 200-day moving average is $56.13. Banner Corporation has a 52 week low of $40.65 and a 52 week high of $60.97. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.98 and a beta of 1.05.

Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.78 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $122.18 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $119.46 million. Banner Corporation had a return on equity of 7.50% and a net margin of 19.63%. Equities analysts predict that Banner Corporation will post $3.09 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, July 18th. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th were issued a dividend of $1.25 per share. This represents a $5.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 8.72%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 6th. Banner Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is currently 34.72%.

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About Banner Corporation

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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