First Foundation Inc (FFWM) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

First Foundation Inc (NASDAQ:FFWM) was the target of a large growth in short interest in September. As of September 28th, there was short interest totalling 1,576,947 shares, a growth of 46.7% from the September 14th total of 1,074,699 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 505,341 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.1 days. Currently, 4.1% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

Several research firms recently issued reports on FFWM. B. Riley set a $19.00 price target on shares of First Foundation and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday. BidaskClub upgraded shares of First Foundation from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday. ValuEngine lowered shares of First Foundation from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 26th. Raymond James cut their target price on shares of First Foundation from $20.00 to $19.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, September 21st. Finally, TheStreet lowered shares of First Foundation from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Friday, August 10th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $20.08.

Shares of First Foundation stock opened at $14.98 on Friday. First Foundation has a fifty-two week low of $14.24 and a fifty-two week high of $20.43. The company has a current ratio of 1.13, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53. The company has a market capitalization of $693.48 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.19, a P/E/G ratio of 2.24 and a beta of 0.60.

First Foundation (NASDAQ:FFWM) last issued its earnings results on Monday, July 30th. The bank reported $0.22 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.28 by ($0.06). First Foundation had a net margin of 12.87% and a return on equity of 9.51%. The company had revenue of $43.24 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $45.38 million. Equities analysts anticipate that First Foundation will post 1 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director James G. Brakke purchased 5,500 shares of First Foundation stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 29th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $15.92 per share, for a total transaction of $87,560.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Chairman Ulrich E. Keller, Jr. sold 9,400 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $17.01, for a total transaction of $159,894.00. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 20,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $340,200. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have purchased a total of 13,900 shares of company stock worth $224,822 in the last quarter. 14.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC acquired a new stake in First Foundation in the second quarter valued at approximately $254,000. GSA Capital Partners LLP acquired a new stake in First Foundation in the second quarter valued at approximately $260,000. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new stake in First Foundation in the second quarter valued at approximately $273,000. Wedbush Securities Inc. acquired a new stake in First Foundation in the second quarter valued at approximately $274,000. Finally, Creative Planning acquired a new stake in First Foundation in the second quarter valued at approximately $358,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 55.81% of the company’s stock.

First Foundation Company Profile

First Foundation Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides financial services to individuals, businesses, and other organizations in the United States. It operates in two segments, Banking; and Investment Management and Wealth Planning. The company offers a range of bank deposit products, including personal and business checking accounts, savings accounts, interest-bearing negotiable order of withdrawal accounts, money market accounts, and time certificates of deposit; and loan products consisting of multifamily and single family residential real estate loans, commercial real estate loans, and commercial term loans and lines of credit, as well as consumer loans, such as personal installment loans and lines of credit, and home equity lines of credit.

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