First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) Cut to Strong Sell at BidaskClub

BidaskClub downgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note released on Saturday, BidAskClub reports.

A number of other equities analysts have also commented on FFBC. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, January 21st. ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, February 4th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods lowered shares of First Financial Bancorp from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $31.00 to $30.00 in a report on Sunday, February 24th. Finally, Stephens lowered shares of First Financial Bancorp from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $28.40.

FFBC stock traded down $0.23 during trading on Friday, reaching $24.10. The stock had a trading volume of 378,703 shares, compared to its average volume of 296,756. First Financial Bancorp has a 1-year low of $22.27 and a 1-year high of $33.70. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.70, a current ratio of 0.92 and a quick ratio of 0.91. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.57, a P/E/G ratio of 1.10 and a beta of 1.22.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 25th. The bank reported $0.47 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.47. First Financial Bancorp had a net margin of 26.28% and a return on equity of 10.60%. The firm had revenue of $148.34 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $150.53 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.49 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that First Financial Bancorp will post 2.16 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 3rd will be issued a $0.22 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 31st. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.65%. First Financial Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 38.60%.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 598.7% in the 4th quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 1,076 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $26,000 after purchasing an additional 922 shares in the last quarter. Premia Global Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp in the 1st quarter valued at about $34,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund acquired a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp in the 4th quarter valued at about $37,000. Eukles Asset Management acquired a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp in the 4th quarter valued at about $49,000. Finally, NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc acquired a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp in the 1st quarter valued at about $52,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.65% of the company’s stock.

About First Financial Bancorp

First Financial Bancorp. operates as the bank holding company for First Financial Bank that provides commercial banking and related services to individuals and businesses in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. 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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