First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) has received an average rating of “Hold” from the ten ratings firms that are presently covering the firm, MarketBeat reports. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, four have given a hold recommendation, three have issued a buy recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. The average 12 month price objective among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $29.00.

FFBC has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. BidaskClub cut First Financial Bancorp. from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 22nd. ValuEngine cut First Financial Bancorp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $28.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp. in a research report on Friday, September 8th. Zacks Investment Research cut First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $28.00 target price on First Financial Bancorp. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 6th.

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) opened at $27.15 on Friday. First Financial Bancorp. has a 12-month low of $22.80 and a 12-month high of $29.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.02, a current ratio of 0.93 and a quick ratio of 0.93. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,706.65, a PE ratio of 17.41, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.77 and a beta of 1.16.

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The bank reported $0.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.02. First Financial Bancorp. had a return on equity of 11.22% and a net margin of 26.49%. The firm had revenue of $83.95 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $88.30 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.37 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that First Financial Bancorp. will post 1.56 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.17 per share. This represents a $0.68 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.50%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 30th. First Financial Bancorp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 43.04%.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FFBC. Aperio Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 0.5% during the second quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 25,443 shares of the bank’s stock worth $705,000 after purchasing an additional 125 shares during the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. grew its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 12.0% during the second quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 47,161 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,306,000 after purchasing an additional 5,048 shares during the last quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan grew its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 4.0% during the second quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 14,640 shares of the bank’s stock worth $406,000 after purchasing an additional 560 shares during the last quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC grew its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 3.8% during the second quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 17,493 shares of the bank’s stock worth $485,000 after purchasing an additional 635 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Great West Life Assurance Co. Can grew its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 3.5% during the second quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 89,948 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,487,000 after purchasing an additional 3,050 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 77.89% of the company’s stock.

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First Financial Bancorp. Company Profile

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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