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Zacks Industry Rank Analysis Highlights: Columbia Banking System, Western Alliance Bancorporation, Bridge Capital Holdings and Bank of Hawaii

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CHICAGO, March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Stocks featured in this week's Zacks Industry Rank analysis include Columbia Banking System, Inc. (Nasdaq: COLB), Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE: WAL), Bridge Capital Holdings (Nasdaq: BBNK) and Bank of Hawaii Corporation (NYSE: BOH).

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Zacks Industry Rank Analysis is written by John Blank, PhD, Chief Equity Strategist, Zacks.com.

Take a Look at Western Banks

Inside this West Region Bank industry are 41 banks. There have been 15 positive revisions to annual earnings recently, and only 4 negative revisions.

What really struck me is 19 of 41 banks in this group have a Zacks Rank of #1 or #2. Half of West Region banks are ranked at a Buy or Strong Buy based on earnings estimates. That has to mean a strong set of positive, regional economic undercurrents is in play, which an investor can benefit from.

This Western region does benefit disproportionately from a number of positive economic trends inside the USA.

  • Housing construction and home prices are now rising well above the national average. Industrial, Retail and commercial has rebounded too.
  • The IT industry is concentrated on the West Coast.
  • This region enjoys demographic growth above the national trend.
  • Throw in fresh support from strong positive job growth numbers. This was one of this region's concentrated problem areas.

In light of all positive trends, this region's banking system stands to reason as a place to find a good stock.

Take a read through the following brief descriptions of four candidates. I chose each one based on its current Zacks Rank (#1 or #2) and Zacks Rating (Outperform), its diverse location, and overall sentiment scores.

I also wanted banks that reflect well the underlying fundamental trends in play.

Note that Q1-2013 quarterly reporting arrives for these banks in the third week of April -- a month away.

Columbia Banking System, Inc. (Nasdaq: COLB)

Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) with an Outperform rating. This bank offers a dividend yield of 2.0%, and +14% EPS growth over the last five years. It reports quarterly earnings on April 24, 2013.

COLB is a registered bank holding company whose wholly owned subsidiary, Columbia State Bank, It conducts a full-service commercial banking business.

Headquartered in Tacoma, Washington, the company provides a full range of banking services to small and medium-sized businesses, professionals and other individuals through banking offices located in the Tacoma metropolitan area and contiguous parts of the Puget Sound region of Washington, as well as the Longview and Woodland communities in southwestern Washington.

Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE: WAL)

Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) with an Outperform rating. The bank has seen notable consensus earnings estimate revisions over the last 30 days. It reports earnings on April 18, 2013.

WAL is the parent company of BankWest of Nevada, Alliance Bank of Arizona, Torrey Pines Bank, Miller/Russell & Associates, and Premier Trust. These dynamic companies provide a broad array of banking, leasing, trust, investment, and mortgage services to clients in Nevada, Arizona and California.

Staffed with experienced financial professionals, these organizations deliver a broader product array and larger credit capacity than community banks, yet are empowered to be more responsive to customers' needs than larger institutions.

Bridge Capital Holdings (Nasdaq: BBNK)

Zacks Rank #2 with an Outperform Rating, but it was a Zacks Rank #1 a week ago. Small Cap Value stock. Supports the Info Tech business in the Bay area. NO dividend. It reports earnings on April 25. 2013.

BBNK is the holding company for Bridge Bank, a full-service business bank that is dedicated to meeting the financial needs of small and middle-market, and emerging technology businesses in the Silicon Valley, Palo Alto, Sacramento, San Diego, and Fresno business communities. Bridge Bank provides clients with a comprehensive package of business banking solutions delivered through experienced and professional bankers.

Bank of Hawaii Corporation (NYSE: BOH)

Zacks Rank #2 with a Neutral rating. Unlike the other banks above, it offers a healthy 3.6% dividend. It reports on April 22, 2013.

BOH is a regional financial services company serving businesses, consumers and governments in Hawaii, American Samoa and the West Pacific. The company's principal subsidiary, Bank of Hawaii, was founded in 1897 and is the largest independent financial institution in Hawaii.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter offers continuous coverage of the industries and the stocks poised to outperform the market. Subscribe to this free newsletter today by visiting http://at.zacks.com/?id=2564.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Len Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3:1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros.  In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit From the Pros by going to http://at.zacks.com/?id=2565.

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Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Contact: Dirk Van Dijk, CFA
Company: Zacks.com
Phone: 312-265-9211
Email: pr@zacks.com
Visit: www.Zacks.com

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.



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