Investors are on the edge of their collective seats, hoping that Columbia Banking System (Nasdaq: COLB) will top analyst expectations for the fifth consecutive quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday. Columbia Banking System, through its wholly owned banking subsidiaries, provides a range of banking services to small- and medium-sized businesses, professionals, and other individuals.

What analysts say

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts strongly back Columbia Banking System, with five of nine rating it a buy and the remainder rating it a hold. Analysts don't like Columbia Banking System as much as competitor Washington Banking Co. overall. Wall Street has warmed to the stock over the past three months, with analysts increasing their endorsement from hold to moderate buy.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $50.6 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a decline of 6.2% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.19 per share. Estimates range from $0.15 to $0.22.

What our community says
CAPS All-Stars are solidly backing the stock with 83.3% assigning it an outperform rating. The majority of the Fools are in agreement with the All-Stars as 70.8% give it an outperform rating. Fools have embraced Columbia Banking System, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 30 posts in the past 30 days. Columbia Banking System's bearish CAPS rating of one out of five stars falls short of the Fool community sentiment.

Management
Columbia Banking System's income has fallen year over year by an average of 89.6%. A year-over-year revenue decrease last quarter snaps a streak of three consecutive quarters of revenue increases.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows net margins over the past four quarters.

Quarter

Q1

Q4

Q3

Q2

Net Margin

11.7%

21.3%

9.1%

8.5%

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