First Foundation Inc (FFWM) Short Interest Up 46.7% in September

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First Foundation Inc (NASDAQ:FFWM) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest in the month of September. As of September 28th, there was short interest totalling 1,576,947 shares, an increase of 46.7% from the September 14th total of 1,074,699 shares. Currently, 4.1% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 505,341 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 3.1 days.

FFWM has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. ValuEngine lowered First Foundation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, July 26th. B. Riley set a $19.00 target price on First Foundation and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday. Zacks Investment Research downgraded First Foundation from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Friday, August 3rd. TheStreet downgraded First Foundation from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Friday, August 10th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded First Foundation from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Thursday, October 4th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. First Foundation has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $20.08.

Shares of NASDAQ FFWM opened at $14.98 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $693.48 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.44, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.24 and a beta of 0.60. The company has a quick ratio of 1.00, a current ratio of 1.13 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53. First Foundation has a 1 year low of $14.24 and a 1 year high of $20.43.

First Foundation (NASDAQ:FFWM) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, July 30th. The bank reported $0.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.28 by ($0.06). The business had revenue of $43.24 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $45.38 million. First Foundation had a return on equity of 9.51% and a net margin of 12.87%. On average, equities research analysts expect that First Foundation will post 1 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Chairman Ulrich E. Keller, Jr. sold 9,400 shares of First Foundation stock in a transaction on Monday, September 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $17.01, for a total value of $159,894.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 20,000 shares in the company, valued at $340,200. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Max Briggs bought 7,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 14th. The stock was bought at an average price of $16.38 per share, with a total value of $121,212.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 8,510 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $139,393.80. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders purchased 13,900 shares of company stock valued at $224,822. 14.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. FMR LLC lifted its holdings in First Foundation by 26.1% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 3,968,414 shares of the bank’s stock worth $73,574,000 after buying an additional 820,394 shares during the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP lifted its holdings in shares of First Foundation by 22.3% in the 2nd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 92,092 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $1,707,000 after purchasing an additional 16,783 shares during the last quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of First Foundation in the 2nd quarter valued at about $3,203,000. Stifel Financial Corp lifted its holdings in shares of First Foundation by 44.4% in the 1st quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 130,000 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $2,410,000 after purchasing an additional 40,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Emerald Advisers Inc. PA lifted its holdings in shares of First Foundation by 1.8% in the 2nd quarter. Emerald Advisers Inc. PA now owns 670,035 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $12,422,000 after purchasing an additional 12,080 shares during the last quarter. 55.81% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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