Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Financial Northwest, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFNW) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday morning.

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. “

Separately, ValuEngine cut shares of First Financial Northwest from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st.

First Financial Northwest (NASDAQ:FFNW) traded down 0.34% on Monday, reaching $17.59. 837 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The company’s 50 day moving average is $16.35 and its 200-day moving average is $16.43. First Financial Northwest has a 52-week low of $14.07 and a 52-week high of $21.29. The stock has a market cap of $182.29 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.61 and a beta of 0.36.

First Financial Northwest (NASDAQ:FFNW) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The bank reported $0.18 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.22 by ($0.04). The company had revenue of $9.73 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.75 million. First Financial Northwest had a net margin of 20.79% and a return on equity of 6.85%. Equities analysts expect that First Financial Northwest will post $0.90 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 22nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 8th were paid a $0.07 dividend. This represents a $0.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.59%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 7th. First Financial Northwest’s payout ratio is 30.77%.

In other news, Director Joann E. Lee sold 6,619 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.12, for a total value of $106,698.28. Following the sale, the director now owns 95,604 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,541,136.48. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Joseph W. Kiley III sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.04, for a total transaction of $240,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 44,250 shares in the company, valued at approximately $709,770. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 26,219 shares of company stock worth $421,060. Corporate insiders own 7.31% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of FFNW. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in shares of First Financial Northwest by 11.9% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 731,100 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $12,919,000 after purchasing an additional 77,693 shares during the period. LSV Asset Management bought a new stake in shares of First Financial Northwest in the second quarter valued at approximately $788,000. Oxford Asset Management bought a new stake in shares of First Financial Northwest in the first quarter valued at approximately $704,000. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. raised its position in shares of First Financial Northwest by 232.5% in the first quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 25,272 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $446,000 after purchasing an additional 17,672 shares during the period. Finally, Brighton Jones LLC bought a new stake in shares of First Financial Northwest in the second quarter valued at approximately $270,000. 44.39% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About First Financial Northwest

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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