First Commonwealth Financial Co. (NYSE: FCF – Get a rating) was the target of a significant increase in short-term interest in September. As of September 15, there was short interest totaling 2,780,000 shares, an increase of 21.4% from the total of 2,290,000 shares as of August 31. Based on an average daily trading volume of 418,800 shares, the day-to-cover ratio is currently 6.6 days. Currently, 3.0% of the company’s shares are sold short.
Wall Street analysts predict growth
A number of brokerages have recently commented on FCF. DA Davidson reiterated a “buy” rating on First Commonwealth Financial shares in a Wednesday July 27 report. Stephens downgraded shares of First Commonwealth Financial from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a price target of $15.50 for the company. in a report on Wednesday August 3. Janney Montgomery Scott began covering shares of First Commonwealth Financial in a report on Thursday. They set a “buy” rating and a price target of $16.00 for the company. Raymond James lowered his price target on First Commonwealth Financial shares from $17.00 to $16.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a Tuesday, September 6 report. Finally, B. Riley raised his price target on shares of First Commonwealth Financial from $16.00 to $17.00 in a Monday, August 1 report. Three equity research analysts gave the stock a hold rating and five gave the stock a buy rating. According to MarketBeat, First Commonwealth Financial currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $16.70.
First Commonwealth Financial Trading down 0.6%
First Commonwealth Financial stock traded down $0.08 during Friday’s session, hitting $12.84. The company had a trading volume of 579,000 shares, compared to an average volume of 475,935. First Commonwealth Financial has a 12-month low of $12.78 and a 12-month high of $17.63. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $14.10 and its two-hundred-day moving average price is $14.07. The company has a market capitalization of $1.20 billion, a price-earnings ratio of 9.51 and a beta of 1.02. The company has a debt ratio of 0.17, a quick ratio of 0.90 and a current ratio of 0.90.
First Commonwealth Financial (NYSE: FCF – Get a rating) last released its results on Tuesday, July 26. The bank reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.33 for the quarter, meeting analyst consensus estimates of $0.33. First Commonwealth Financial had a net margin of 32.04% and a return on equity of 11.74%. The company posted revenue of $98.17 million in the quarter, versus a consensus estimate of $98.20 million. In the same period a year earlier, the company earned earnings per share of $0.31. As a group, stock analysts expect First Commonwealth Financial to post earnings per share of 1.39 for the current financial year.
First Commonwealth Financial Dividend Announcement
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 19. Shareholders of record on Friday August 5 received a dividend of $0.12 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday August 4th. This represents an annualized dividend of $0.48 and a yield of 3.74%. First Commonwealth Financial’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.56%.
Institutional investors weigh in on First Commonwealth Financial
Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. FMR LLC increased its stake in First Commonwealth Financial by 1.6% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 43,326 shares of the bank worth $581,000 after purchasing an additional 673 shares during the period. Confluence Wealth Services Inc. raised its position in shares of First Commonwealth Financial by 6.9% during the second quarter. Confluence Wealth Services Inc. now owns 10,795 shares of the bank worth $161,000 after buying 698 additional shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc raised its position in shares of First Commonwealth Financial by 0.4% in the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 273,391 shares in the bank worth $3,669,000 after buying an additional 1,003 shares last quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas increased its position in shares of First Commonwealth Financial by 5.7% during the first quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 19,559 shares of the bank worth $297,000 after buying 1,051 additional shares in the last quarter. Finally, Texas Permanent School Fund increased its position in shares of First Commonwealth Financial by 2.0% during the second quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 68,170 shares of the bank worth $915,000 after buying 1,363 additional shares in the last quarter. 70.36% of the shares are currently held by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About First Commonwealth Financial
First Commonwealth Financial Corporation, a financial holding company, provides various retail and corporate banking services in the United States. Its consumer services include personal checking accounts, interest-bearing checking accounts, savings and health savings accounts, insured money market accounts, debit cards, investment certificates, interest rate certificates of deposit fixed and variable, mortgages, secured and unsecured installment loans, construction and home loans, safe deposit boxes, credit cards, lines of credit with overdraft protection, IRA accounts and ATM services ATMs, as well as internet, mobile and telephone banking.
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