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First Financial (FFNW) Surges 6.2%: Is This an Indication of Further Gains?

First Financial Northwest (FFNW) shares soared 6.2% in the last trading session to close at $15.66. The move was backed by solid volume with far more shares changing hands than in a normal session. This compares to the stock's 6.2% loss over the past four weeks.

The performance of banks is expected improve in the upcoming period on rising interest rates and modest demand for loans. This week, the Federal Reserve is expected to hike the interest rates again by 75 basis points (bps), after having already increased the rates by 225 bps so far this year. This, thus, led to bullish investor sentiments, which drove First Financial stock higher.

This bank is expected to post quarterly earnings of $0.32 per share in its upcoming report, which represents a year-over-year change of -5.9%. Revenues are expected to be $13.02 million, up 5.1% from the year-ago quarter.

While earnings and revenue growth expectations are important in evaluating the potential strength in a stock, empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements.

For First Financial, the consensus EPS estimate for the quarter has remained unchanged over the last 30 days. And a stock's price usually doesn't keep moving higher in the absence of any trend in earnings estimate revisions. So, make sure to keep an eye on FFNW going forward to see if this recent jump can turn into more strength down the road.

The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>

First Financial is part of the Zacks Banks - West industry. East West Bancorp (EWBC), another stock in the same industry, closed the last trading session 2.1% lower at $72.67. EWBC has returned -3.9% in the past month.

For East West Bancorp , the consensus EPS estimate for the upcoming report has remained unchanged over the past month at $2.08. This represents a change of +32.5% from what the company reported a year ago. East West Bancorp currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).


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