Short Interest in First Foundation Inc. (NASDAQ:FFWM) Grows By 36.9%

First Foundation Inc. (NASDAQ:FFWMGet Rating) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in March. As of March 31st, there was short interest totalling 905,600 shares, an increase of 36.9% from the March 15th total of 661,300 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 0 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently ∞ days.

Shares of First Foundation stock traded down $0.29 on Friday, hitting $23.21. 183,897 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 373,228. The stock has a market cap of $1.31 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.59 and a beta of 1.24. The company has a quick ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $25.27 and its 200 day moving average is $26.10. First Foundation has a 52-week low of $20.30 and a 52-week high of $29.41.

First Foundation (NASDAQ:FFWMGet Rating) last released its earnings results on Monday, January 31st. The bank reported $0.51 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $75.79 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $74.40 million. First Foundation had a return on equity of 13.36% and a net margin of 34.47%. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.50 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that First Foundation will post 2.32 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, February 17th. Investors of record on Thursday, February 10th were paid a dividend of $0.11 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 9th. This is a boost from First Foundation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.09. This represents a $0.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.90%. First Foundation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 18.18%.

In other First Foundation news, Director Diane M. Rubin bought 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 7th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $26.53 per share, with a total value of $26,530.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. 13.90% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Andrew Hill Investment Advisors Inc. bought a new position in First Foundation during the fourth quarter worth $48,000. Acadian Asset Management LLC bought a new position in First Foundation during the fourth quarter worth $165,000. Los Angeles Capital Management LLC bought a new position in First Foundation during the third quarter worth $216,000. Brookmont Capital Management lifted its stake in First Foundation by 6.7% during the fourth quarter. Brookmont Capital Management now owns 8,361 shares of the bank’s stock worth $208,000 after purchasing an additional 526 shares during the last quarter. Finally, ProShare Advisors LLC bought a new position in First Foundation during the fourth quarter worth $216,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.39% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages have issued reports on FFWM. Stephens began coverage on shares of First Foundation in a research report on Wednesday, February 2nd. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $32.00 price objective for the company. StockNews.com began coverage on shares of First Foundation in a research report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “hold” rating for the company. B. Riley lowered their price objective on shares of First Foundation from $34.00 to $31.00 in a research report on Tuesday, April 12th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Foundation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 3rd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $30.00.

First Foundation Company Profile (Get Rating)

First Foundation Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides personal banking, business banking, and private wealth management services in the United States. It operates through two segments, Banking and Wealth Management. 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 certificate of deposits; and loan products consisting of multifamily and single family residential real estate loans, commercial real estate loans, and commercial term loans and line of credits, as well as consumer loans, such as personal installment loans and line of credits, and home equity line of credits.

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