First Financial Co. (NASDAQ: THFF – Get a rating) experienced a significant drop in short-term interest during the month of September. As of September 30, there was short interest totaling 154,800 shares, down 15.9% from the total of 184,100 shares as of September 15. Approximately 1.4% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume of 38,600 shares, the day-to-cover ratio is currently 4.0 days.
Institutional entries and exits
A number of large investors have recently changed their THFF holdings. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in First Financial by 17.0% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,331,453 shares of the bank worth $57,625,000 after acquiring an additional 193,283 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in First Financial by 6.8% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 672,335 shares of the bank worth $29,098,000 after acquiring an additional 42,849 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its stake in First Financial by 42.4% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 524,197 shares of the bank worth $22,687,000 after acquiring an additional 156,091 shares during the period. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in First Financial by 0.4% in the first quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. now owns 330,657 shares of the bank worth $14,311,000 after acquiring an additional 1,411 shares during the period. Finally, rhino investment partners Inc increased its stake in First Financial by 12.0% during the second quarter. Rhino Investment Partners Inc now owns 275,214 shares of the bank worth $12,247,000 after acquiring an additional 29,512 shares during the period. 73.98% of the shares are held by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Analyst upgrades and downgrades
THFF has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. StockNews.com launched coverage on First Financial in a research note on Wednesday. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. Raymond James downgraded First Financial from an “outperform” rating to a “market performer” rating and set a price target of $50.00 for the stock. in a report on Thursday, July 7.
First price financial performance
Shares of THFF opened at $47.49 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $571.30 million, a price-earnings ratio of 9.98 and a beta of 0.60. The company has a debt ratio of 0.03, a quick ratio of 0.74 and a current ratio of 0.74. First Financial has a one-year minimum of $41.50 and a one-year maximum of $49.00. The stock’s fifty-day moving average is $46.71 and its 200-day moving average is $45.05.
First Financial (NASDAQ:THFF – Get a rating) last released its quarterly results on Tuesday, July 26. The bank reported EPS of $1.27 for the quarter, beating consensus analyst estimates of $1.07 by $0.20. The company posted revenue of $50.74 million for the quarter, versus analyst estimates of $48.50 million. First Financial had a return on equity of 12.06% and a net margin of 29.19%. Equity analysts expect First Financial to post EPS of 5.77 for the current year.
Profile of the first financial company
First Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides various financial services. It offers non-interest-bearing demand, interest-bearing demand, savings, term and other term 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 spreads, secured loans, and secured and unsecured cash/CD loans.
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