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Why Columbia Banking (COLB) Might be Well Poised for a Surge

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Columbia Banking (COLB - Free Report) could be a solid choice for investors given the company's remarkably improving earnings outlook. While the stock has been a strong performer lately, this trend might continue since analysts are still raising their earnings estimates for the company.

The upward trend in estimate revisions for this bank holding company reflects growing optimism of analysts on its earnings prospects, which should get reflected in its stock price. After all, empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements. Our stock rating tool -- the Zacks Rank -- is principally built on this insight.

The five-grade Zacks Rank system, which ranges from a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record of outperformance, with Zacks #1 Ranked stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 2008.

For Columbia Banking, there has been strong agreement among the covering analysts in raising earnings estimates, which has helped push consensus estimates considerably higher for the next quarter and full year.

Current-Quarter Estimate Revisions

For the current quarter, the company is expected to earn $0.70 per share, which is a change of +11.11% from the year-ago reported number.

Over the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Columbia Banking has increased 13.28% because two estimates have moved higher compared to no negative revisions.

Current-Year Estimate Revisions

For the full year, the earnings estimate of $2.68 per share represents a change of +23.5% from the year-ago number.

In terms of estimate revisions, the trend for the current year also appears quite encouraging for Columbia Banking. Over the past month, four estimates have moved higher compared to no negative revisions, helping the consensus estimate increase 7.86%.

Favorable Zacks Rank

Thanks to promising estimate revisions, Columbia Banking currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The Zacks Rank is a tried-and-tested rating tool that helps investors effectively harness the power of earnings estimate revisions and make the right investment decision. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Our research shows that stocks with Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and 2 (Buy) significantly outperform the S&P 500.

Bottom Line

Columbia Banking shares have added 5.6% over the past four weeks, suggesting that investors are betting on its impressive estimate revisions. So, you may consider adding it to your portfolio right away to benefit from its earnings growth prospects.


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