First Financial Co. (NASDAQ:THFF) Sees Significant Increase in Short Interest

First Financial Co. (NASDAQ:THFFGet Rating) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest in the month of May. As of May 15th, there was short interest totalling 281,900 shares, a growth of 46.6% from the April 30th total of 192,300 shares. Currently, 2.5% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 75,100 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.8 days.

Shares of THFF stock opened at $44.58 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.03, a current ratio of 0.75 and a quick ratio of 0.75. The company has a market cap of $553.77 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.42 and a beta of 0.67. First Financial has a 1 year low of $37.69 and a 1 year high of $47.10. The firm has a fifty day moving average price of $43.49 and a 200-day moving average price of $44.57.

First Financial (NASDAQ:THFFGet Rating) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The bank reported $1.67 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.59. The company had revenue of $51.55 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $47.60 million. First Financial had a return on equity of 11.57% and a net margin of 30.36%. Equities research analysts expect that First Financial will post 4.94 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a Semi-Annual dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 1st. Investors of record on Friday, June 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.54 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 16th. This is an increase from First Financial’s previous Semi-Annual dividend of $0.53. This represents a dividend yield of 2.5%. First Financial’s payout ratio is 22.41%.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Quadrant Capital Group LLC lifted its holdings in First Financial by 795.3% during the first quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 573 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $25,000 after purchasing an additional 509 shares in the last quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of First Financial during the 4th quarter valued at $28,000. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of First Financial during the 3rd quarter valued at $27,000. Simplex Trading LLC bought a new position in First Financial in the 1st quarter worth $74,000. Finally, Ensign Peak Advisors Inc purchased a new stake in First Financial in the 1st quarter worth $96,000. 67.22% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

THFF has been the topic of a number of research reports. Raymond James upgraded First Financial from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $49.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, April 12th. Zacks Investment Research raised First Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, February 4th. Finally, StockNews.com raised shares of First Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, May 2nd.

About First Financial (Get Rating)

First Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides various financial services. It offers non-interest-bearing demand, interest-bearing demand, savings, time, and other time deposits. The company also provides commercial loans primarily to expand a business or finance asset purchases; residential real estate and residential real estate construction loans; and home equity loans and lines, secured loans, and cash/CD secured and unsecured loans.

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