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First Financial Rewards Shareholders With New Buyback Plan

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First Financial Northwest, Inc. FFNW recently announced a new share-repurchase plan. The board of directors has approved the repurchase of about 5% of the outstanding common stock or 509,000 shares. The new plan will begin on Jul 30, 2020 and will be effective for the next six months.

First Financial has been actively repurchasing shares for the last few years. At present, it has an authorization to buyback up to 513,000 shares. This program commenced from Jan 27, 2020 and will be closing on Jul 27, 2020. As of Jun 16, 2020, the bank had repurchased 214,845 shares at an average price of $11.13 per share. Last year, the company repurchased 479,052 shares.

Also, First Financial has been paying regular quarterly dividends. Beside, the company has been annually hiking its quarterly dividends since 2017, with the latest hike of 11% announced on Feb 14, 2020.

Notably, as of Mar 31, 2020, the company had total debt of $162.54 million, significantly higher than the cash and cash equivalents balance of $6.45 million.  Moreover, First Financial has total debt to total capital of 51.50% which is higher than the industry average of 39.86%. Thus, sustainability of the company’s capital deployments seems to be low.

Over the past year, shares of First Financial have depreciated 33.7% compared with the 11.8% decline of the industry it belongs to.

Currently, First Financial carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

A few other finance stocks that have announced new/additional buyback authorization in 2020 include PennyMac Financial PFSI, Jefferies Financial JEF and First Midwest Bancorp, Inc. FMBI.

Earlier this month, PennyMac Financial announced that it would repurchase 6.9 million shares at a price of $34 per share from The BlackRock Foundation, the charitable arm of BlackRock, Inc. In addition, Jefferies’ Financial increased its buyback program of $250 million in January, while First Midwest announced a new share-buyback plan in February, with the authorization to repurchase common shares worth $200 million.

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Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (JEF) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
First Midwest Bancorp, Inc. (FMBI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
PennyMac Financial Services, Inc. (PFSI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
First Financial Northwest, Inc. (FFNW) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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