Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR) Upgraded by Stephens

Banner Corporation (NASDAQ:BANR) stock rose 3.67% (As on June 17, 11:18:03 AM UTC-4, Source: Google Finance) after Stephens Upgrades Banner to Overweight From Equalweight with Price Target of $67.  Banner Corporation is a dynamic banking organization that is developing a significant and expanding regional franchise throughout the West. Formed originally in 1995, Banner Corporation is the holding company for Banner Bank, a Washington-chartered commercial bank headquartered in Walla Walla, Washington, with roots that date back to 1890.

Meanwhile, on February 18, 2022, Banner Bank completed the consolidation of seven branches and entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Spokane Teachers Credit Union, Spokane, Washington (“STCU”) with respect to the sale to STCU of four Banner Bank branches located in Hayden, Idaho, and in Chewelah, Colville, and Kettle Falls, Washington, subject to certain regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. The sale includes deposit accounts with an approximate balance of $212 million. Banner Bank will receive a 5.0% premium in relation to the core deposits. The sale also includes all related branch premises and equipment. Banner anticipates that these sale transactions will help to further shape the Bank’s service footprint, while contributing to our capital, reducing excess liquidity, and improving our operating efficiency. The transactions are expected to support the Banner Forward initiative by improving management’s focus on key operations and markets, and providing capital to reinvest in profitability enhancement initiatives.

Moreover, BANR’s net interest income was $118.7 million in the first quarter of 2022, compared to $121.5 million in the preceding quarter and $117.7 million in the first quarter a year ago, primarily reflecting the on-going low interest rate environment and loan forgiveness under the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). Banner’s net interest margin on a tax equivalent basis was 3.18% for the first quarter of 2022, a one basis-point increase compared to 3.17% in the preceding quarter and a 26 basis-point decrease compared to 3.44% in the first quarter a year ago. Total assets decreased to $16.78 billion at March 31, 2022, compared to $16.80 billion at December 31, 2021, and increased 4% when compared to $16.12 billion at March 31, 2021. Total deposits increased 1% to $14.52 billion at March 31, 2022, compared to $14.33 billion at December 31, 2021, and increased 7% when compared to $13.55 billion a year ago. At March 31, 2022, total common shareholders’ equity was $1.56 billion, or 9.32% of assets, compared to $1.69 billion or 10.06% of assets at December 31, 2021, and $1.62 billion or 10.04% of assets a year ago.

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