First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) Receives $32.80 Average PT from Analysts

Shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) have earned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the eleven research firms that are presently covering the firm, MarketBeat reports. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, four have given a hold recommendation and four have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12 month price objective among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $32.80.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 30th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, October 19th. Stephens reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $35.00 price objective on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a report on Monday, July 23rd. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and decreased their price target for the company from $34.00 to $32.00 in a research note on Sunday, October 21st.

FFBC stock traded up $0.05 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $26.96. The stock had a trading volume of 7,122 shares, compared to its average volume of 432,533. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.64 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.75, a PEG ratio of 1.20 and a beta of 1.15. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86, a quick ratio of 0.94 and a current ratio of 0.94. First Financial Bancorp has a 12-month low of $24.05 and a 12-month high of $33.70.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 18th. The bank reported $0.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.57 by $0.01. First Financial Bancorp had a net margin of 25.08% and a return on equity of 11.70%. The company had revenue of $152.80 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $151.74 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.39 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 63.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts forecast that First Financial Bancorp will post 2.24 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 17th. Investors of record on Monday, December 3rd will be paid a $0.20 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 30th. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.97%. First Financial Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 49.69%.

In related news, COO Anthony M. Stollings sold 15,847 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.59, for a total value of $500,606.73. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Insiders purchased 1,143 shares of company stock worth $31,466 over the last 90 days. 3.36% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. LPL Financial LLC purchased a new position in shares of First Financial Bancorp in the 1st quarter valued at $287,000. Legal & General Group Plc raised its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 50.2% in the 1st quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 186,663 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $5,422,000 after acquiring an additional 62,346 shares during the period. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB raised its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 33.4% in the 1st quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 11,981 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $352,000 after acquiring an additional 3,000 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its holdings in First Financial Bancorp by 59.8% during the 1st quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 757,825 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $22,242,000 after buying an additional 283,511 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Allianz Asset Management GmbH purchased a new position in First Financial Bancorp during the 1st quarter valued at about $243,000. 73.90% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

First Financial Bancorp Company Profile

First Financial Bancorp. operates as the bank holding company for First Financial Bank that provides commercial banking and other banking, and banking-related services to individuals and businesses in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. The company accepts various deposit products, such as interest-bearing and noninterest-bearing accounts, time deposits, and cash management services for commercial customers.

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Analyst Recommendations for First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC)

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