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5 Regional Banks With Solid Revenue Growth

3. Washington Federal

Shares of Washington Federal (WFSL) are down 23% year-to-date.

The Seattle-based bank, which has its fiscal year ending in September, reported a fourth- quarter net income of $30.67 million or 28 cents per share compared to $15.96 million or 14 cents per share in the year-earlier.

For the year, the bank reported an income excluding one-time items of $111.14 million, down 6% from the $118.65 million in previous year. Excluding the impact of one-time items, profits jumped 347% year-on-year.

Pre-provision net revenues increased 36% year-on-year to $63.27 million from $51.75 million in the year-ago quarter.

The bank's loan portfolio has been declining as a result of higher prepayments. Still net interest income improved to $104.5 million from $100.3 million in the prior-period quarter on account of improving margins, as the bank lowered deposit costs.

On October 17, 2011, Washington Federal completed its acquisition and integration of six branches from Charter Bank in New Mexico and $254 million of deposits, includingm $70 million of transaction accounts.

The bank said that results in 2012 will be "largely consistent" with 2011, which was a downer for investors. However, Sandler O'Neill analysts say the management tends to be somewhat cautious in its guidance and the bank could deliver better than its outlook suggests. "WFSL is a well-run company that is solidly profitable and has several levers it can pull to continue to support earnings and book value growth."

The stock trades at about 10 times its 2012 consensus earnings per share estimate. Seven analysts rate it a buy, while an equal number are on the fence with a hold rating.
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