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Banner (BANR) Rewards Investors With Buyback Plan, Stock Up

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Shares of Banner Corporation (BANR - Free Report) were up nearly 1% following the announcement of a new share repurchase plan in the after-hours trading. The board of directors has approved the repurchase of up to 1.71 million or 5% of BNAR’s outstanding shares. The plan has no expiration date.

Mark J. Grescovich, president and CEO of BANR, said, “The availability of this repurchase program aligns with our capital management strategy and offers an effective tool for building long-term shareholder value.”

The new plan replaces the previous one, which authorized Banner to buy back up to 1.76 million shares. This plan was announced in December 2020. As of Sep 30, 2021, 0.7 million shares remained to be repurchased under the authorization.

Share buybacks aside, the company has been regularly paying dividends and enhancing shareholder value. In fact, since April 2019, Banner has been paying out 41 cents per share as quarterly dividends. Prior to that, the company paid 38 cents per share as a quarterly dividend.

Considering the last day’s closing price of $58.63 per share, Banner’s dividend yield currently stands at 2.80%. Not only is the yield attractive for income investors, but it also represents a steady income stream. It is also impressive compared with the industry average of 2.31%.

Further, Banner has been actively pursuing growth through strategic buyouts. The company’s last buyout was closed in November 2019, when it acquired Santa Rosa, CL-based AltaPacific Bancorp.

Supported by its earnings strength, Banner is expected to continue with efficient capital deployment activities in the future. Through this, it will keep enhancing shareholder value. However, the low-interest rate environment is a major concern.

Over the past six months, shares of Banner have rallied 5.4% against a 0.9% decline for the industry.

Zacks Investment ResearchImage Source: Zacks Investment Research

At present, Banner carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other Banks Stocks That Took Similar Action

Over the past month, several banks have rewarded shareholders with new share-repurchase programs. Some of these are United Community Banks, Inc. (UCBI - Free Report) , Columbia Financial, Inc. (CLBK - Free Report) and Cadence Bank (CADE - Free Report) .

United Community Banks’ board of directors approved the repurchase of up to $50 million of UCBI’s outstanding shares. The plan will expire on Dec 31, 2022.

The new repurchase plan replaces the previous one, which authorized United Community Banks to buy back up to $50 million shares till Dec 31, 2021. This plan was announced in November 2020. As of Sep 30, 2021, authorization to repurchase shares worth $34.9 million remained.

Columbia Financial announced that its board of directors has approved the repurchase of up to 5 million shares or roughly 4.6% of its outstanding shares. The plan has no expiry date.

CLBK’s new share repurchase plan was adopted after receiving the non-objection from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The new repurchase plan will be effective following the completion of Columbia Financial’s previous buyback program, which was announced this February.

Cadence Bank announced that its board of directors authorized a share repurchase program for 2022. The board of directors has approved the repurchase of up to 10 million shares of Cadence.

The new share repurchase program is subject to the approval of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and will be effective on Jan 3, 2022. CADE’s buyback plan will expire on Dec 30, 2022.