First Foundation Inc. (FFWM) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Foundation Inc. (NASDAQ:FFWM) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Friday morning. They currently have $21.00 price objective on the bank’s stock.

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 several other research reports. ValuEngine lowered First Foundation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. FBR & Co set a $21.00 target price on First Foundation and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, July 17th. TheStreet raised First Foundation from a d rating to a c- rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered First Foundation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $19.88.

Shares of First Foundation (NASDAQ:FFWM) opened at 18.75 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $17.85 and its 200-day moving average price is $16.77. First Foundation has a 52 week low of $11.64 and a 52 week high of $19.84. The stock has a market cap of $646.18 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.20 and a beta of 0.67.

First Foundation (NASDAQ:FFWM) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The bank reported $0.27 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.24 by $0.03. First Foundation had a return on equity of 10.69% and a net margin of 19.62%. The business had revenue of $38.30 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $38.83 million. Equities analysts anticipate that First Foundation will post $0.97 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, Chairman Ulrich E. Keller, Jr. sold 16,245 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.60, for a total transaction of $269,667.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 20,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $332,000. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CFO John Michel sold 30,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.58, for a total value of $497,400.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 93,291 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,546,764.78. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 163,600 shares of company stock worth $2,755,022 in the last 90 days. 18.50% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FFWM. Nationwide Fund Advisors grew its stake in First Foundation by 90.8% during the 1st quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 17,943 shares of the bank’s stock worth $278,000 after buying an additional 8,541 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its stake in shares of First Foundation by 128.1% in the 1st quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 81,240 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $1,260,000 after purchasing an additional 45,620 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in shares of First Foundation by 111.9% in the 1st quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 116,856 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $1,812,000 after purchasing an additional 61,710 shares during the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC grew its stake in shares of First Foundation by 100.1% in the 1st quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 182,484 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $2,830,000 after purchasing an additional 91,281 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. purchased a new position in shares of First Foundation in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $306,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 52.37% of the company’s stock.

About First Foundation

First Foundation Inc is a financial services holding company that provides a platform of personalized financial services to high net-worth individuals and their families, family businesses and other affiliated organizations. The Company conducts its operations through its subsidiaries, First Foundation Advisors (FFA) and First Foundation Bank (FFB), and First Foundation Insurance Services (FFIS), a subsidiary of FFB.

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