Brokerages forecast that First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) will report $0.41 earnings per share for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Three analysts have provided estimates for First Financial Bancorp.’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $0.40 to $0.44. First Financial Bancorp. posted earnings per share of $0.38 in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 7.9%. The business is expected to report its next earnings report on Thursday, January 18th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp. will report full-year earnings of $1.54 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.49 to $1.57. For the next year, analysts expect that the company will report earnings of $1.80 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.75 to $1.88. Zacks’ earnings per share averages are an average based on a survey of research firms that that provide coverage for First Financial Bancorp..

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 19th. The bank reported $0.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $83.95 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $88.30 million. First Financial Bancorp. had a return on equity of 11.22% and a net margin of 26.49%. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.37 EPS.

FFBC has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $29.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp. in a research report on Friday, July 7th. Zacks Investment Research lowered First Financial Bancorp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Stephens raised First Financial Bancorp. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $31.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $28.00 target price on First Financial Bancorp. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Finally, Barclays PLC dropped their target price on First Financial Bancorp. from $27.00 to $25.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. First Financial Bancorp. currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $29.00.

COPYRIGHT VIOLATION NOTICE: “Brokerages Expect First Financial Bancorp. (FFBC) Will Post Earnings of $0.41 Per Share” was first posted by American Banking News and is owned by of American Banking News. If you are accessing this news story on another website, it was illegally copied and republished in violation of US and international copyright legislation. The correct version of this news story can be viewed at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2017/10/29/brokerages-expect-first-financial-bancorp-ffbc-will-post-earnings-of-0-41-per-share.html.

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) opened at 28.05 on Friday. First Financial Bancorp. has a 52-week low of $20.95 and a 52-week high of $29.80. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $25.91 and its 200 day moving average price is $26.27. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.74 billion, a PE ratio of 18.58 and a beta of 1.20.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 1st will be given a dividend of $0.17 per share. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.42%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 30th. First Financial Bancorp.’s payout ratio is 43.04%.

In related news, insider C Douglas Lefferson sold 40,000 shares of First Financial Bancorp. stock in a transaction dated 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 completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 74,170 shares in the company, valued at $1,905,427.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 1.88% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of FFBC. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. grew its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 6.9% in the second quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 5,410 shares of the bank’s stock worth $150,000 after purchasing an additional 349 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC grew its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 16.6% in the first quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 6,492 shares of the bank’s stock worth $178,000 after purchasing an additional 922 shares in the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc grew its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 0.6% in the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 6,542 shares of the bank’s stock worth $181,000 after purchasing an additional 36 shares in the last quarter. Amalgamated Bank grew its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 1.2% in the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 8,406 shares of the bank’s stock worth $233,000 after purchasing an additional 102 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in First Financial Bancorp. in the third quarter worth about $250,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.23% 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.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on First Financial Bancorp. (FFBC)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Earnings History and Estimates for First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC)

Receive News & Ratings for First Financial Bancorp. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for First Financial Bancorp. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.