First Foundation (NASDAQ:FFWM) Lifted to “Sell” at ValuEngine

ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Foundation (NASDAQ:FFWM) from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Thursday, ValuEngine reports.

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of First Foundation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 14th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of First Foundation from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, January 10th. Finally, B. Riley lifted their target price on First Foundation from $19.00 to $21.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, January 9th.

Shares of FFWM opened at $16.91 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $755.10 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.75 and a beta of 0.87. First Foundation has a 52-week low of $12.91 and a 52-week high of $17.64. The company has a quick ratio of 0.88, a current ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $16.93 and a 200 day moving average price of $15.39.

First Foundation (NASDAQ:FFWM) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 23rd. The bank reported $0.39 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.37 by $0.02. First Foundation had a net margin of 19.41% and a return on equity of 9.52%. The company had revenue of $57.11 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $56.83 million. On average, equities analysts anticipate that First Foundation will post 1.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CFO John Michel sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $15.74, for a total value of $78,700.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 37,000 shares in the company, valued at $582,380. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Ulrich E. Keller, Jr. sold 37,337 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.47, for a total value of $614,940.39. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 20,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $329,400. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 82,937 shares of company stock valued at $1,356,902 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 13.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FFWM. Royal Bank of Canada grew its stake in shares of First Foundation by 565.5% during the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 3,088 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $42,000 after acquiring an additional 2,624 shares in the last quarter. Phocas Financial Corp. bought a new stake in shares of First Foundation in the second quarter worth $42,000. Bank of Montreal Can bought a new stake in shares of First Foundation in the second quarter worth $44,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in shares of First Foundation by 15.5% in the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 10,739 shares of the bank’s stock worth $143,000 after purchasing an additional 1,444 shares during the last quarter. Finally, D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. bought a new stake in First Foundation in the second quarter valued at about $158,000. 59.17% of the stock is 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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