Head-to-Head Poll: Sierra Bancorp (NASDAQ:BSRR) vs. Columbia Banking System (NASDAQ:COLB)

Sierra Bancorp (NASDAQ:BSRR – Get Rating) and Columbia Banking System (NASDAQ:COLB – Get Rating) are both finance companies, but which company is the best performer? We’ll compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, risk, and dividends.


Sierra Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.92 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.2%. Columbia Banking System pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.0%. Sierra Bancorp pays 35.8% of its earnings as a dividend. Columbia Banking System pays 42.9% of its profits as a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings over the next few years. Sierra Bancorp has increased its dividend for 10 consecutive years. Sierra Bancorp is clearly the better dividend-paying stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Benefits and evaluation

This table compares the revenue, earnings per share and valuation of Sierra Bancorp and Columbia Banking System.

Gross revenue Price/sales ratio Net revenue Earnings per share Price/earnings ratio
Sierra Bancorp $141.15 million 2.34 $43.01 million $2.57 8.53
Colombian banking system $630.16 million 3.78 $202.82 million $2.80 10.81

Columbia Banking System has higher revenue and earnings than Sierra Bancorp. Sierra Bancorp trades at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Columbia Banking System, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

55.1% of Sierra Bancorp’s shares are held by institutional investors. By comparison, 94.4% of Columbia Banking System’s stock is held by institutional investors. 11.6% of Sierra Bancorp’s stock is held by insiders of the company. By comparison, 0.6% of Columbia Banking System’s stock is held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership indicates that large fund managers, hedge funds, and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


This table compares the net margins, return on equity, and return on assets of Sierra Bancorp and Columbia Banking System.

Net margins Return on equity return on assets
Sierra Bancorp 28.71% 11.16% 1.17%
Colombian banking system 31.91% 9.30% 1.14%

Risk and Volatility

Sierra Bancorp has a beta of 1.11, meaning its stock price is 11% more volatile than the S&P 500. In comparison, Columbia Banking System has a beta of 0.68, meaning its stock price is 32 % less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Sierra Bancorp and Columbia Banking System, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sales Ratings Hold odds Buy reviews Strong buy odds Rating
Sierra Bancorp 0 1 1 0 2.50
Colombian banking system 0 3 2 0 2.40

Sierra Bancorp currently has a consensus target price of $28.00, indicating a potential upside of 27.74%. Columbia Banking System has a consensus target price of $35.60, indicating a potential upside of 17.57%. Given Sierra Bancorp’s stronger consensus rating and higher likely upside, equity research analysts clearly believe Sierra Bancorp is more favorable than Columbia Banking System.


Sierra Bancorp beats Columbia Banking System on 9 out of 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Sierra Bancorp (Get a rating)

Sierra Bancorp operates as a bank holding company for Bank of the Sierra which provides retail and commercial banking services to individuals and businesses in California. The Company accepts various deposit products, such as checking accounts, savings accounts, money market current accounts, term deposits, retirement accounts and sweepstakes accounts. Its lending products include agricultural, commercial, consumer, real estate, construction and mortgage loans. The company also offers ATMs; point-of-sale electronic payment alternatives; online and automated telephone banking services; and remote deposit collection and automated payroll services for corporate clients. As of December 31, 2021, it operated 35 full-service branches, an online branch, a loan origination office, an agricultural credit center and an SBA center. Sierra Bancorp was founded in 1977 and is based in Porterville, California.

About the Columbia Banking System (Get a rating)

Columbia Banking System LogoColumbia Banking System, Inc. operates as a bank holding company for Columbia State Bank which provides a range of banking services to small and medium-sized businesses, professionals and individuals in the United States. It offers personal banking products and services, including interest-free and interest-bearing checks, savings accounts, money market and certificates of deposit; home mortgages for purchases and refinances, home equity loans and lines of credit and other personal loans; debit and credit cards; and digital banking. The Company also provides business banking products and services, such as checking, savings, interest-bearing money market and certificate of deposit accounts; agricultural, asset-based, builder and other commercial real estate loans, as well as small business administration guaranteed loans; and professional banking, cash management, merchant card and international banking. In addition, it offers wealth management solutions that include financial planning services, such as asset allocation, net worth analysis, estate planning and preservation, education funding and transfer of assets; long-term care and life and disability insurance solutions; individual retirement solutions including retirement planning, retirement income strategies and traditional and Roth individual retirement accounts; and business solutions, which include corporate pension plans, key person insurance, corporate succession planning and deferred compensation plans for individuals, families and professional businesses. In addition, the company provides trust, investment and administrative trust services, such as personal and special needs trusts, estate settlement, investment agency and charitable organization management. It operates a network of 153 branches, including 68 in Washington State, 59 in Oregon, 15 in Idaho and 11 in California. The company was founded in 1993 and is based in Tacoma, Washington.

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