Wall Street analysts expect First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) to report $0.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Three analysts have issued estimates for First Financial Bancorp.’s earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $0.40 and the highest is $0.44. First Financial Bancorp. reported earnings of $0.38 per share 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 quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 18th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp. will report full-year earnings of $1.56 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.54 to $1.57. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect that the firm will report earnings of $1.84 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.75 to $1.92. Zacks’ earnings per share averages are a mean average based on a survey of analysts that follow First Financial Bancorp..

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

Several equities analysts have commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. BidaskClub lowered shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Barclays increased their price objective on shares of First Financial Bancorp. from $25.00 to $27.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, October 23rd. ValuEngine lowered shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $28.00 price objective on shares of First Financial Bancorp. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 6th. Two 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 company’s stock. First Financial Bancorp. has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $29.00.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted its holdings 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 worth $70,481,000 after acquiring an additional 77,946 shares during the last quarter. Nicholas Company Inc. lifted its holdings in First Financial Bancorp. by 10.8% during the 2nd quarter. Nicholas Company Inc. now owns 205,734 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $5,698,000 after buying an additional 20,015 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its holdings in First Financial Bancorp. by 34.3% during the 2nd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 262,310 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $7,266,000 after buying an additional 67,024 shares in the last quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. bought a new stake in First Financial Bancorp. during the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,269,000. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. lifted its holdings in First Financial Bancorp. by 5.0% during the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 365,865 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $9,568,000 after buying an additional 17,280 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.89% of the company’s stock.

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) traded down $0.75 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $27.95. 345,000 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 260,731. First Financial Bancorp. has a fifty-two week low of $22.80 and a fifty-two week high of $29.80. The company has a quick ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.02. The company has a market capitalization of $1,781.12, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.17, a P/E/G ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 1.16.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 1st will be issued a $0.17 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 30th. This represents a $0.68 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.43%. First Financial Bancorp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 43.04%.

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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.

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

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