Zacks Investment Research cut shares of First Financial Northwest, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFNW) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “FIRST FINANCIAL NORTHWEST, INC. is a Washington corporation headquartered in Renton, Washington. It is the parent company of First Savings Bank Northwest; a Washington chartered stock savings bank that was originally organized in 1923. The Company serves the Puget Sound Region of Washington that includes King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties, through its full-service banking office. The Company is part of the America’s Community Bankers NASDAQ Index. “

Shares of First Financial Northwest (NASDAQ FFNW) opened at 16.41 on Friday. First Financial Northwest has a 52 week low of $13.10 and a 52 week high of $21.29. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $16.64 and a 200-day moving average price of $17.63. The company has a market capitalization of $170.06 million, a PE ratio of 18.29 and a beta of 0.33.

First Financial Northwest (NASDAQ:FFNW) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The bank reported $0.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.22 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $9.73 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.75 million. First Financial Northwest had a return on equity of 6.70% and a net margin of 24.94%. Analysts predict that First Financial Northwest will post $0.91 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 22nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 8th will be given a $0.07 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 7th. This represents a $0.28 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.71%. First Financial Northwest’s payout ratio is 30.77%.

First Financial Northwest declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Monday, May 22nd that permits the company to repurchase 1,100,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the bank to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In other First Financial Northwest news, Director Gary F. Faull sold 18,340 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $15.95, for a total value of $292,523.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 101,478 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,618,574.10. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 7.31% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Algert Global LLC boosted its position in First Financial Northwest by 0.5% in the second quarter. Algert Global LLC now owns 21,947 shares of the bank’s stock worth $354,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. First Quadrant L P CA boosted its position in First Financial Northwest by 84.4% in the second quarter. First Quadrant L P CA now owns 21,306 shares of the bank’s stock worth $344,000 after buying an additional 9,752 shares during the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its position in First Financial Northwest by 118.4% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 24,221 shares of the bank’s stock worth $428,000 after buying an additional 13,131 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its position in First Financial Northwest by 11.9% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 731,100 shares of the bank’s stock worth $12,919,000 after buying an additional 77,693 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in First Financial Northwest by 3.9% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 62,518 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,104,000 after buying an additional 2,350 shares during the last quarter. 43.69% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

First Financial Northwest Company Profile

First Financial Northwest, Inc (First Financial Northwest) is a holding company for First Financial Northwest Bank (the Bank). The Bank primarily serves the greater Puget Sound region of King and to a lesser extent, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap Counties, Washington through its full-service banking office located in Renton, Washington and branch office in Mill Creek, Washington.

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