Shares of First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) have been given a consensus recommendation of “Hold” by the ten ratings firms that are presently covering the firm. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, eight have assigned a hold recommendation and one has given a buy recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month target price among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $23.58.
Several research analysts have weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $32.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 3rd. Barclays PLC upped their price target on First Financial Bancorp. from $22.00 to $26.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 6th.
In related news, SVP Shannon M. Kuhl sold 2,735 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, December 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.90, for a total transaction of $79,041.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Peter E. Geier sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.05, for a total value of $56,100.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 35,021 shares in the company, valued at approximately $982,339.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 10,639 shares of company stock valued at $282,111 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 2.19% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FFBC. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 3.6% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,026,362 shares of the company’s stock valued at $86,099,000 after buying an additional 103,860 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 19.4% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,691,898 shares of the company’s stock valued at $48,138,000 after buying an additional 274,415 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Bank raised its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 5.3% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 67,461 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,892,000 after buying an additional 3,376 shares in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of First Financial Bancorp. during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,193,000. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company purchased a new position in shares of First Financial Bancorp. during the third quarter valued at approximately $20,071,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.20% of the company’s stock.
Shares of First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) opened at 27.60 on Monday. First Financial Bancorp. has a one year low of $16.02 and a one year high of $29.80. The stock has a market cap of $1.71 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.30 and a beta of 1.18. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $27.93 and a 200 day moving average of $24.27.
First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 19th. The company reported $0.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.37 by $0.01. First Financial Bancorp. had a return on equity of 10.42% and a net margin of 23.57%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.33 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that First Financial Bancorp. will post $1.53 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 3rd. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 2nd will be given a dividend of $0.17 per share. This is an increase from First Financial Bancorp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.16. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.46%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, February 28th. First Financial Bancorp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 44.76%.
First Financial Bancorp. Company Profile
First Financial Bancorp. (First Financial) is a regional bank holding company. First Financial is engaged in the business of commercial banking and other banking and banking-related activities through its subsidiary, First Financial Bank, National Association (the Bank). The range of banking services provided by First Financial to individuals and businesses include commercial lending, real estate lending and consumer financing.
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