Zacks: Brokerages Anticipate First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) to Announce $0.46 Earnings Per Share

Brokerages predict that First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) will report earnings of $0.46 per share for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Three analysts have issued estimates for First Financial Bancorp’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $0.45 to $0.48. First Financial Bancorp reported earnings per share of $0.39 during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 17.9%. The business is expected to report its next quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 19th.

On average, analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp will report full year earnings of $2.08 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.92 to $2.16. For the next fiscal year, analysts anticipate that the company will post earnings of $2.31 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.20 to $2.45. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of analysts that follow First Financial Bancorp.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, January 18th. The bank reported $0.45 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $94.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $90.05 million. First Financial Bancorp had a return on equity of 11.51% and a net margin of 26.11%. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.38 earnings per share.

FFBC has been the subject of several recent research reports. Barclays upped their target price on First Financial Bancorp from $25.00 to $27.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Monday, October 23rd. BidaskClub raised First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 7th. Zacks Investment Research raised First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $32.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. FIG Partners raised First Financial Bancorp from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $31.00 target price for the company in a report on Friday. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $28.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a report on Friday, October 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $29.90.

First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) traded down $0.05 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $27.75. The stock had a trading volume of 317,786 shares, compared to its average volume of 402,262. The company has a market capitalization of $1,725.27, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.34, a PEG ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 1.19. First Financial Bancorp has a 52 week low of $22.80 and a 52 week high of $29.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.92 and a quick ratio of 0.91.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 1st will be issued a $0.19 dividend. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.74%. This is a positive change from First Financial Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.17. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 28th. First Financial Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is 42.50%.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Prudential Financial Inc. grew its holdings in First Financial Bancorp by 5.0% in the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 365,865 shares of the bank’s stock worth $9,568,000 after buying an additional 17,280 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 8.9% during the 3rd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 2,770,582 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $72,451,000 after purchasing an additional 226,144 shares in the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada boosted its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 19.4% during the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 27,863 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $772,000 after purchasing an additional 4,532 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 1.9% during the 3rd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 267,166 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $6,986,000 after purchasing an additional 4,856 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 0.8% during 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 in the last quarter. 77.72% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

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