First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) Receives Consensus Rating of “Hold” from Brokerages

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First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) has been given a consensus rating of “Hold” by the eleven ratings firms that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, five have assigned a hold recommendation and four have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 1-year price target among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $32.67.

Several research analysts have commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $34.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, August 8th. BidaskClub raised First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 11th. Barclays cut their price objective on First Financial Bancorp from $32.00 to $31.00 and set a “$31.40” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 23rd. Sandler O’Neill reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $35.00 price objective on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a research report on Friday, July 20th. Finally, DA Davidson raised First Financial Bancorp from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 26th.

NASDAQ:FFBC traded down $0.74 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $27.42. The company had a trading volume of 280,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 419,474. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a current ratio of 0.93 and a quick ratio of 0.92. First Financial Bancorp has a 1 year low of $25.00 and a 1 year high of $33.70. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.91 billion, a PE ratio of 17.48, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.32 and a beta of 1.05.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 19th. The bank reported $0.57 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.05. First Financial Bancorp had a return on equity of 12.13% and a net margin of 25.41%. The company had revenue of $152.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $147.77 million. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.37 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 77.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that First Financial Bancorp will post 2.25 EPS for the current year.

In other news, COO Anthony M. Stollings sold 15,847 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.59, for a total transaction of $500,606.73. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Vince Berta bought 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 31st. The shares were acquired at an average price of $29.95 per share, with a total value of $44,925.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 6,527 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $195,483.65. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have bought 2,143 shares of company stock valued at $64,236 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 3.36% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Advisors Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp during the second quarter valued at about $1,113,000. First Mercantile Trust Co. acquired a new position in First Financial Bancorp in the second quarter worth about $105,000. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in First Financial Bancorp in the first quarter worth about $120,000. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 597.3% in the second quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,567 shares of the bank’s stock worth $140,000 after purchasing an additional 3,912 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Neuburgh Advisers LLC acquired a new position in First Financial Bancorp in the second quarter worth about $146,000. Institutional investors own 73.84% 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 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.

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Analyst Recommendations for First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC)

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