Shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) have earned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the eight brokerages that are covering the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and seven have assigned a hold rating to the company. The average 1 year price objective among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $20.90.
A number of research analysts have commented on FFBC shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $24.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised their target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp from $19.00 to $21.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Hilliard Lyons downgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Barclays PLC raised their target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp from $19.00 to $20.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Finally, Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $21.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a research report on Thursday, July 7th.
First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) opened at 21.82 on Monday. First Financial Bancorp has a 12 month low of $13.76 and a 12 month high of $22.53. The stock has a market cap of $1.35 billion, a PE ratio of 16.78 and a beta of 1.25. The company has a 50-day moving average of $21.75 and a 200-day moving average of $20.00.
First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $0.36 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.34 by $0.02. First Financial Bancorp had a net margin of 22.23% and a return on equity of 9.82%. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.31 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that First Financial Bancorp will post $1.41 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 2nd will be issued a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.93%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 31st. First Financial Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 49.23%.
In related news, Director Knapke Murph sold 15,000 shares of First Financial Bancorp stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.20, for a total value of $318,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 50,929 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,079,694.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, COO Anthony M. Stollings sold 13,081 shares of First Financial Bancorp stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.11, for a total transaction of $276,139.91. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.19% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 4.5% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,949,538 shares of the company’s stock worth $96,269,000 after buying an additional 213,416 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 4.9% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 4,046,332 shares of the company’s stock worth $78,701,000 after buying an additional 190,106 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 5.2% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,826,788 shares of the company’s stock worth $54,980,000 after buying an additional 140,364 shares during the period. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. boosted its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 30.9% in the second quarter. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. now owns 2,616,200 shares of the company’s stock worth $50,886,000 after buying an additional 617,425 shares during the period. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 3.4% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 2,480,615 shares of the company’s stock worth $48,248,000 after buying an additional 82,471 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 72.70% of the company’s stock.
About First Financial Bancorp
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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