First Commonwealth Financial (FCF) Upgraded to Hold by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Commonwealth Financial (NYSE:FCF) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “First Commonwealth Financial Corporation is registered as a bank holding company under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended. The Corporation operates two chartered banks, First Commonwealth Bank and Southwest Bank. Personal financial planning and other financial services and insurance products are also provided through First Commonwealth Trust Company and First Commonwealth Insurance Agency. The Corporation also operates through Commonwealth Systems Corporation, a data processing subsidiary. “

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the company. Sandler O’Neill initiated coverage on First Commonwealth Financial in a research report on Thursday, August 30th. They issued a hold rating and a $18.00 price target on the stock. ValuEngine downgraded First Commonwealth Financial from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, October 24th. Boenning Scattergood reiterated a hold rating and issued a $14.00 price objective on shares of First Commonwealth Financial in a report on Wednesday, October 24th. Raymond James reiterated a hold rating on shares of First Commonwealth Financial in a report on Friday, September 7th. Finally, DA Davidson started coverage on First Commonwealth Financial in a report on Thursday, August 23rd. They issued a neutral rating and a $18.00 price objective on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. First Commonwealth Financial has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $16.67.

FCF stock traded up $0.11 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $13.46. The company had a trading volume of 40,498 shares, compared to its average volume of 775,499. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19, a current ratio of 0.88 and a quick ratio of 0.88. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.28, a P/E/G ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 1.08. First Commonwealth Financial has a fifty-two week low of $12.01 and a fifty-two week high of $17.91.

First Commonwealth Financial (NYSE:FCF) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The bank reported $0.25 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.28 by ($0.03). The company had revenue of $83.57 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $84.76 million. First Commonwealth Financial had a net margin of 22.65% and a return on equity of 11.00%. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.22 EPS. On average, analysts expect that First Commonwealth Financial will post 1.03 EPS for the current year.

First Commonwealth Financial declared that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, October 23rd that allows the company to repurchase $25.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the bank to reacquire up to 1.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 2nd will be issued a $0.09 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 1st. This represents a $0.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.67%. First Commonwealth Financial’s payout ratio is currently 43.90%.

In other First Commonwealth Financial news, Director Ray T. Charley acquired 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 29th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $12.90 per share, for a total transaction of $51,600.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 280,041 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,612,528.90. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 1.42% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FCF. Willingdon Wealth Management purchased a new position in shares of First Commonwealth Financial in the 2nd quarter valued at about $104,000. A.R.T. Advisors LLC purchased a new position in First Commonwealth Financial during the 1st quarter worth approximately $152,000. Huntington National Bank purchased a new position in First Commonwealth Financial during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $170,000. Bank of Montreal Can purchased a new position in First Commonwealth Financial during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $188,000. Finally, Fox Run Management L.L.C. purchased a new position in First Commonwealth Financial during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $201,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 68.68% of the company’s stock.

About First Commonwealth Financial

First Commonwealth Financial Corporation, through its subsidiary First Commonwealth Bank, provides consumer and commercial banking services to individuals, and small and mid-sized businesses in the United States. Its consumer services include personal checking accounts, interest-earning checking accounts, savings accounts, insured money market accounts, debit cards, investment certificates, fixed and variable rate certificates of deposit, mortgage loans, secured and unsecured installment loans, construction and real estate loans, safe deposit facilities, credit cards, credit lines with overdraft checking protection, IRA accounts, and automated teller machine (ATM) services, as well as Internet, mobile, and telephone banking services.

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