First Financial Bank (FFBC) Cut to “Hold” at ValuEngine

ValuEngine cut shares of First Financial Bank (NASDAQ:FFBC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Saturday morning.

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. FIG Partners raised First Financial Bank from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $31.00 target price for the company in a research note on Friday, February 9th. BidaskClub downgraded First Financial Bank from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, December 16th. Hilliard Lyons raised First Financial Bank from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $33.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, January 22nd. Finally, Barclays upped their price objective on First Financial Bank from $27.00 to $30.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $29.89.

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Shares of NASDAQ FFBC opened at $28.15 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.92 and a quick ratio of 0.91. The stock has a market cap of $1,770.38, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.48, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 1.10. First Financial Bank has a 12 month low of $22.80 and a 12 month high of $29.65.

First Financial Bank (NASDAQ:FFBC) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, January 18th. The bank reported $0.45 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $94.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $90.05 million. First Financial Bank had a return on equity of 11.51% and a net margin of 26.11%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.38 earnings per share. sell-side analysts predict that First Financial Bank will post 2.1 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 1st were paid a $0.19 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 28th. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.70%. This is an increase from First Financial Bank’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.17. First Financial Bank’s dividend payout ratio is currently 47.20%.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FFBC. Russell Investments Group Ltd. increased its stake in shares of First Financial Bank by 37.6% in the third quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 64,913 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $1,697,000 after buying an additional 17,752 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in shares of First Financial Bank in the third quarter valued at approximately $125,000. American International Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of First Financial Bank by 5.7% in the third quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 48,869 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $1,278,000 after buying an additional 2,651 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in shares of First Financial Bank by 18.9% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 151,871 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,971,000 after buying an additional 24,104 shares during the period. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of First Financial Bank by 6.5% in the third quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 393,825 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $10,299,000 after buying an additional 24,203 shares during the period. 80.13% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About First Financial Bank

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.

To view ValuEngine’s full report, visit ValuEngine’s official website.

Analyst Recommendations for First Financial Bank (NASDAQ:FFBC)

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