Heritage Financial (NASDAQ:HFWA) Lifted to Strong-Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Heritage Financial (NASDAQ:HFWA) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report report published on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has $33.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Heritage Financial Corporation, Inc. is a bank holding company. “

Separately, Stephens reaffirmed an equal weight rating and set a $28.00 price target on shares of Heritage Financial in a research report on Friday, January 15th.

Shares of HFWA opened at $28.10 on Wednesday. Heritage Financial has a 12 month low of $14.65 and a 12 month high of $30.86. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $27.83 and a 200 day simple moving average of $24.06. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.01 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.78 and a beta of 0.78. The company has a current ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 0.89 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.03.

Heritage Financial (NASDAQ:HFWA) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 28th. The financial services provider reported $0.66 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.20. Heritage Financial had a net margin of 16.02% and a return on equity of 4.97%. The firm had revenue of $63.74 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $59.30 million. As a group, research analysts predict that Heritage Financial will post 1.08 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, February 24th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 10th were given a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.85%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, February 9th. Heritage Financial’s payout ratio is presently 43.72%.

In related news, Director Brian Charneski sold 3,325 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.69, for a total transaction of $98,719.25. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. 1.60% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in HFWA. First Trust Advisors LP grew its stake in Heritage Financial by 3.5% during the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 68,656 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,069,000 after buying an additional 2,340 shares in the last quarter. LPL Financial LLC acquired a new stake in Heritage Financial during the third quarter worth about $417,000. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership acquired a new stake in Heritage Financial during the third quarter worth about $189,000. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. grew its stake in Heritage Financial by 17.3% during the third quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 42,375 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $779,000 after buying an additional 6,240 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in Heritage Financial by 6.8% during the third quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 529,899 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $9,745,000 after buying an additional 33,733 shares in the last quarter. 80.75% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Heritage Financial

Heritage Financial Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Heritage Bank that provides various financial services to small and medium sized businesses and individuals in the United States. The company accepts various deposit products, such as noninterest demand deposits, interest bearing demand deposits, money market accounts, savings accounts, personal checking accounts, and certificates of deposit.

Read More: What is the Difference Between Common Shares and Convertible Shares?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Heritage Financial (HFWA)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Receive News & Ratings for Heritage Financial Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Heritage Financial and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.