First Foundation (NASDAQ:FFWM) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

First Foundation (NASDAQ:FFWM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

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 topic of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub lowered First Foundation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday. ValuEngine lowered First Foundation from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Friday, December 13th. Finally, B. Riley increased 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 First Foundation stock traded down $0.06 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $16.78. 72,000 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 76,289. First Foundation has a 52-week low of $12.91 and a 52-week high of $17.64. The firm has a market capitalization of $751.52 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.34 and a beta of 0.87. The company has a fifty day moving average of $16.91 and a 200-day moving average of $15.33. The company has a current ratio of 0.98, a quick ratio of 0.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86.

First Foundation (NASDAQ:FFWM) last issued its quarterly earnings results 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 return on equity of 9.52% and a net margin of 19.41%. The company had revenue of $57.11 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $56.83 million. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that First Foundation will post 1.23 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CFO John Michel sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 29th. The stock was 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 approximately $582,380. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Ulrich E. Keller, Jr. sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.54, for a total value of $165,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 20,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $330,800. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 82,937 shares of company stock worth $1,356,902 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 13.90% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Royal Bank of Canada increased its holdings in First Foundation by 565.5% in the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 3,088 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $42,000 after purchasing an additional 2,624 shares in the last quarter. Phocas Financial Corp. acquired a new stake in First Foundation in the 2nd quarter valued at $42,000. Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new stake in First Foundation in the 2nd quarter valued at $44,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its holdings in First Foundation by 15.5% in the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 10,739 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $143,000 after purchasing an additional 1,444 shares in the last quarter. Finally, D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. acquired a new stake in First Foundation in the 2nd quarter valued at $158,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 59.20% 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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