First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) Upgraded by BidaskClub to Hold

BidaskClub upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning, BidAskClub reports.

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Piper Jaffray Companies raised First Financial Bancorp from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and raised their price target for the company from $28.00 to $29.00 in a report on Thursday, June 20th. Zacks Investment Research cut First Financial Bancorp from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, September 6th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. First Financial Bancorp currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $28.50.

Shares of FFBC stock traded up $0.02 on Thursday, hitting $25.30. 359,560 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 339,285. The company has a current ratio of 0.93, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.41 billion, a PE ratio of 11.10 and a beta of 1.26. First Financial Bancorp has a one year low of $22.07 and a one year high of $30.85. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $23.87 and its two-hundred day moving average is $24.30.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 18th. The bank reported $0.58 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.57 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $156.94 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $153.34 million. First Financial Bancorp had a return on equity of 10.45% and a net margin of 28.03%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.57 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp will post 2.12 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 16th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 2nd will be issued a $0.23 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 29th. This represents a $0.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.64%. This is a boost from First Financial Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. First Financial Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 40.35%.

In other news, Director Vince Berta acquired 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 27th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $22.45 per share, with a total value of $33,675.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Richard S. Dennen sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.61, for a total value of $128,050.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 80,641 shares in the company, valued at $2,065,216.01. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 2.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in FFBC. Trustcore Financial Services LLC bought a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp in the 1st quarter worth approximately $139,000. Almanack Investment Partners LLC. bought a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $189,000. Eagle Ridge Investment Management bought a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp during the first quarter valued at approximately $200,000. Zebra Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp during the second quarter valued at approximately $229,000. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 21.0% during the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 10,387 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $249,000 after purchasing an additional 1,801 shares in the last quarter. 75.35% of the stock is currently 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 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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