First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) Rating Lowered to Sell at ValuEngine

ValuEngine downgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note published on Monday morning, ValuEngine reports.

Several other analysts have also issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered First Financial Bancorp from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, October 17th. BidaskClub upgraded First Financial Bancorp from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, September 12th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $28.50.

FFBC stock traded up $0.58 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $24.09. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 21,445 shares, compared to its average volume of 410,385. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $24.16 and its 200 day moving average price is $24.06. The company has a quick ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.26. First Financial Bancorp has a 1 year low of $22.07 and a 1 year high of $28.59. The stock has a market cap of $2.33 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.60 and a beta of 1.25.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 17th. The bank reported $0.56 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $154.68 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $150.98 million. First Financial Bancorp had a return on equity of 10.13% and a net margin of 27.72%. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.58 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts forecast that First Financial Bancorp will post 2.12 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Chairman Claude E. Davis sold 26,657 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.32, for a total transaction of $674,955.24. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 329,860 shares in the company, valued at $8,352,055.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Vince Berta bought 1,500 shares of First Financial Bancorp stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 27th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $22.45 per share, with a total value of $33,675.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 54,077 shares of company stock worth $1,372,473. 2.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL grew its position in First Financial Bancorp by 6.0% during the third quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 29,800 shares of the bank’s stock worth $729,000 after buying an additional 1,700 shares in the last quarter. Versant Capital Management Inc boosted its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 109.5% in the 3rd quarter. Versant Capital Management Inc now owns 1,274 shares of the bank’s stock worth $31,000 after purchasing an additional 666 shares in the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 7.2% in the 3rd quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 66,563 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,629,000 after purchasing an additional 4,472 shares in the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of First Financial Bancorp in the 3rd quarter worth about $383,000. Finally, First Financial Bank Trust Division boosted its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 1.5% in the 3rd quarter. First Financial Bank Trust Division now owns 638,936 shares of the bank’s stock worth $15,638,000 after purchasing an additional 9,239 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.98% of the company’s stock.

First Financial Bancorp Company Profile

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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