First Financial Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIN) was the target of a large increase in short interest during the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 8,165,365 shares, an increase of 18.7% from the July 14th total of 6,878,276 shares. Currently, 15.7% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 170,434 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 47.9 days.

FFIN has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised First Financial Bankshares from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $46.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Friday, June 23rd. BidaskClub lowered First Financial Bankshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $41.00 price target on shares of First Financial Bankshares in a research note on Friday, July 21st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised First Financial Bankshares from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and upped their price target for the company from $37.00 to $38.00 in a research note on Friday, April 21st. Finally, Stephens reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of First Financial Bankshares in a research note on Monday, April 24th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $42.00.

In other news, Director David L. Copeland sold 684 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.00, for a total value of $25,992.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 33,379 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,268,402. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Johnny Trotter purchased 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 1st. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $38.55 per share, for a total transaction of $38,550.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 388,938 shares in the company, valued at $14,993,559.90. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 5.04% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its position in shares of First Financial Bankshares by 11.5% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,309 shares of the bank’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 239 shares during the last quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of First Financial Bankshares by 20.6% in the first quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 3,020 shares of the bank’s stock worth $121,000 after buying an additional 516 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of First Financial Bankshares by 26.8% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,520 shares of the bank’s stock worth $141,000 after buying an additional 743 shares during the last quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of First Financial Bankshares by 63.3% in the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 3,593 shares of the bank’s stock worth $159,000 after buying an additional 1,393 shares during the last quarter. Finally, FCA Corp TX purchased a new position in shares of First Financial Bankshares during the second quarter worth $213,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 49.89% of the company’s stock.

Shares of First Financial Bankshares (NASDAQ FFIN) opened at 40.75 on Friday. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $43.00 and a 200 day moving average price of $41.51. The stock has a market cap of $2.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.12 and a beta of 1.34. First Financial Bankshares has a 12-month low of $34.17 and a 12-month high of $46.70.

First Financial Bankshares (NASDAQ:FFIN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 20th. The bank reported $0.43 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.42 by $0.01. First Financial Bankshares had a return on equity of 12.41% and a net margin of 33.03%. The business had revenue of $82.25 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $87.11 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.41 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 5.5% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that First Financial Bankshares will post $1.70 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

First Financial Bankshares declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Tuesday, July 25th that permits the company to repurchase 2,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the bank to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.19 per share. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.87%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. First Financial Bankshares’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 46.91%.

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First Financial Bankshares Company Profile

First Financial Bankshares, Inc is a financial holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, conducts commercial banking business. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s subsidiaries included First Financial Bank, National Association, Abilene, Texas; First Technology Services, Inc, Abilene, Texas; First Financial Trust & Asset Management Company, National Association, Abilene, Texas; First Financial Investments, Inc, Abilene, Texas, and First Financial Insurance Agency, Inc, Abilene, Texas.

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