Washington Federal’s (WFSL) third quarter earnings were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, the results significantly deteriorated from the prior-year quarter due to a huge increase in provision for loan losses, primarily in response to a deteriorating residential land and construction portfolio.
Credit quality drastically worsened during the quarter. However, declining deposit rates helped improve funding concerns to a great extent and capital position remained strong.
Though margin expansion and increased market share through acquisitions will be a great support going forward, we are concerned about the company’s significant exposure to real estate markets and suspect that it will continue to experience credit quality deterioration. Therefore, we recommend the shares as Underperform.Zacks Investment Research