Washington Federal beats fourth-quarter earnings estimates

Washington Federal Inc., which operates four Western Federal branches in Southern Nevada, on Thursday reported fourth-quarter earnings of 33 cents per share. The results beat last year’s fourth-quarter earnings of 28 cents per share and the 31 cents per share forecast of analysts polled by Yahoo Finance.

The Seattle-based bank posted fourth-quarter earnings of $35.5 million, an increase from $30.6 million a year earlier.

For fiscal 2012, Washington Federal reported earnings of $138 million, or $1.29 per share, a substantial increase over the $111 million, or $1 per share a year earlier and better than the $1.27 per share expected by analysts.

“Much of the credit goes to improved real estate market conditions that enabled us to record gains on the sale of properties foreclosed on and written down in prior years,” Western Federal Chairman, President and CEO Roy Whitehead said in a statement.

Washington Federal’s local branches are in Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas.

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at csieroty@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893.

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