Analyst upgrades First Financial


First Financial Holdings of Charleston, SC, was upgraded Monday by analyst SunTrust Robinson Humphrey to a “buy” from a “neutral” position.

Stock in First Financial responded by rising 33 cents, to $9.44 a share.

First Financial earned $3.1 million during the quarter ended March 31, despite having to set aside nearly $13 million for potential bad loans.

That compares to a loss of $6.5 million for the three months ended Dec. 31, mostly attributed to the recession and a $2.1 million write-down on three fixed-income investments that had fallen in value, according to The Charleston Post and Courier.

The upgrade by SunTrust Robinson Humphrey comes a little less than two years after the company downgraded First Financial to “neutral.”

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