First Foundation (FFWM) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Foundation (NASDAQ:FFWM) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Thursday. They currently have $16.00 target price on the bank’s stock.

According to Zacks, “First Foundation Inc. engages in providing integrated investment management, wealth planning, consulting, trust and banking services. It operates in two segments, Banking and Wealth Management. The company offers a range of bank deposit products; loan products; specialized services comprising trust services, on-line banking, remote deposit capture, merchant credit card services, ATM cards, Visa debit cards, and business sweep accounts, as well as insurance brokerage services. It offers investment portfolio management and financial planning services; advisory and coordination services and wealth management services. First Foundation Inc. is headquartered in Irvine, California. “

FFWM has been the subject of a number of other research reports. TheStreet upgraded First Foundation from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a report on Thursday, November 1st. Raymond James lowered their price target on First Foundation from $20.00 to $19.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a report on Friday, September 21st. ValuEngine upgraded First Foundation from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, October 26th. BidaskClub raised shares of First Foundation from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, October 26th. Finally, B. Riley set a $19.00 price objective on shares of First Foundation and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, October 12th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $19.25.

Shares of NASDAQ FFWM traded up $0.07 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $14.06. The stock had a trading volume of 4,617 shares, compared to its average volume of 172,244. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a current ratio of 0.95. The firm has a market capitalization of $624.88 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.51, a PEG ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 0.76. First Foundation has a 52-week low of $11.79 and a 52-week high of $20.43.

First Foundation (NASDAQ:FFWM) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The bank reported $0.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.26 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $54.83 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $49.89 million. First Foundation had a return on equity of 9.64% and a net margin of 13.75%. Analysts forecast that First Foundation will post 1.07 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, CEO Scott F. Kavanaugh sold 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.39, for a total transaction of $327,800.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 70,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,147,300. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Ulrich E. Keller, Jr. sold 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.39, for a total value of $491,700.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 20,000 shares in the company, valued at $327,800. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 84,000 shares of company stock valued at $1,373,120 in the last three months. 14.30% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc increased its position in shares of First Foundation by 6.8% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 1,550,515 shares of the bank’s stock worth $24,218,000 after purchasing an additional 98,604 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of First Foundation by 6.8% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,550,515 shares of the bank’s stock worth $24,218,000 after purchasing an additional 98,604 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley increased its position in shares of First Foundation by 253.2% during the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 275,038 shares of the bank’s stock worth $4,296,000 after purchasing an additional 197,178 shares in the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of First Foundation by 16.4% during the third quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 67,944 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,061,000 after purchasing an additional 9,579 shares in the last quarter. Finally, IndexIQ Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of First Foundation by 3.9% during the third quarter. IndexIQ Advisors LLC now owns 122,613 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,915,000 after purchasing an additional 4,631 shares in the last quarter. 61.10% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About First Foundation

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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