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Washington Federal Inc.

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Washington Federal’s first-quarter fiscal 2016 (ended Dec 31) earnings outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Higher revenues and the absence of provisions were the primary drivers, but elevated expenses remained a headwind. While growing demand for loans should continue fueling the company’s organic growth, a robust capital position will likely support its inorganic growth. Also, the company’s enhanced capital deployment activities continue to be impressive. However, we remain apprehensive regarding the impact of weak cost control, compressed margin and substantial exposure to a risky loan portfolio on the company’s profitability in the near-term.

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