First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reiterated by investment analysts at Royal Bank Of Canada in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday. They presently have a $28.00 target price on the bank’s stock. Royal Bank Of Canada’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 19.91% from the stock’s current price.

FFBC has been the topic of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub lowered First Financial Bancorp. from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 22nd. Barclays PLC lowered their price objective on First Financial Bancorp. from $27.00 to $25.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Zacks Investment Research lowered First Financial Bancorp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, June 26th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $28.00 price objective on First Financial Bancorp. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Finally, Sandler O’Neill raised First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $28.00 to $29.00 in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. First Financial Bancorp. presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $28.50.

Shares of First Financial Bancorp. (FFBC) opened at 23.35 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $1.45 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.46 and a beta of 1.19. First Financial Bancorp. has a 12 month low of $20.55 and a 12 month high of $29.80. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $24.94 and a 200-day moving average price of $26.66.

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.37 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $85.97 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $89.52 million. First Financial Bancorp. had a return on equity of 10.65% and a net margin of 24.28%. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.36 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that First Financial Bancorp. will post $1.52 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, insider C Douglas Lefferson sold 40,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.69, for a total value of $1,027,600.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 74,170 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,905,427.30. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 1.88% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 46,873.9% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,672,717 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $210,616,000 after purchasing an additional 7,656,383 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 0.8% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,714,986 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $158,306,000 after purchasing an additional 43,459 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,114,689 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $86,278,000 after purchasing an additional 46,235 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 4.2% in the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,615,610 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $72,453,000 after purchasing an additional 106,493 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 3.2% in the 2nd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 2,544,438 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $70,481,000 after purchasing an additional 77,946 shares during the last quarter. 74.23% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC)

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