First Foundation (FFWM) Downgraded to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

First Foundation (NASDAQ:FFWM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

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. “

Several other research firms also recently commented on FFWM. TheStreet raised shares of First Foundation from a “c-” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 31st. B. Riley reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $22.00 price objective (down from $23.00) on shares of First Foundation in a report on Thursday, February 1st. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $20.00 price objective on shares of First Foundation in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of First Foundation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, January 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $20.70.

Shares of First Foundation (NASDAQ FFWM) opened at $18.60 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $710.28, a P/E ratio of 23.47, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.09 and a beta of 0.66. First Foundation has a 12-month low of $14.67 and a 12-month high of $19.84. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.24, a quick ratio of 1.02 and a current ratio of 1.07.

First Foundation (NASDAQ:FFWM) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 31st. The bank reported $0.25 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.24 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $42.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $40.94 million. First Foundation had a net margin of 15.71% and a return on equity of 10.92%. equities analysts expect that First Foundation will post 1.27 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Chairman Ulrich E. Keller, Jr. sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, February 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $18.66, for a total transaction of $186,600.00. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 20,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $373,200. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Max Briggs sold 5,305 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, February 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.11, for a total transaction of $101,378.55. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 6,415 shares in the company, valued at $122,590.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 35,305 shares of company stock worth $664,279 over the last three months. 18.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. John W. Rosenthal Capital Management Inc. raised its position in First Foundation by 7.3% during the third quarter. John W. Rosenthal Capital Management Inc. now owns 150,000 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,684,000 after acquiring an additional 10,200 shares during the period. Essex Investment Management Co. LLC acquired a new position in First Foundation during the third quarter worth $1,671,000. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its position in First Foundation by 54.0% during the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 19,100 shares of the bank’s stock worth $314,000 after acquiring an additional 6,700 shares during the period. Boston Partners raised its position in First Foundation by 5.9% during the third quarter. Boston Partners now owns 942,860 shares of the bank’s stock worth $16,867,000 after acquiring an additional 52,830 shares during the period. Finally, OxFORD Asset Management LLP raised its position in First Foundation by 66.4% during the third quarter. OxFORD Asset Management LLP now owns 26,868 shares of the bank’s stock worth $481,000 after acquiring an additional 10,723 shares during the period. 53.47% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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First Foundation Company Profile

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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