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

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

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, March 15, 2013

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).


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

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.

  oHousing construction and home prices are now rising well above the
    national average. Industrial, Retail and commercial has rebounded too.
  oThe IT industry is concentrated on the West Coast.
  oThis region enjoys demographic growth above the national trend.
  oThrow 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

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

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

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.

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