Rhumbline Advisers grew its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) by 12.8% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 149,923 shares of the bank’s stock after buying an additional 17,025 shares during the quarter. Rhumbline Advisers owned 0.24% of First Financial Bancorp worth $3,950,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new stake in First Financial Bancorp during the third quarter worth approximately $125,000. FDx Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in First Financial Bancorp during the third quarter worth approximately $205,000. Bedel Financial Consulting Inc. purchased a new stake in First Financial Bancorp during the fourth quarter worth approximately $249,000. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. purchased a new stake in First Financial Bancorp during the third quarter worth approximately $250,000. Finally, Stevens Capital Management LP purchased a new stake in First Financial Bancorp during the third quarter worth approximately $269,000. Institutional investors own 80.17% of the company’s stock.
A number of research analysts have recently commented on the stock. BidaskClub cut shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, December 16th. Barclays boosted their target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp from $27.00 to $30.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Hilliard Lyons raised shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, January 22nd. Finally, FIG Partners raised shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $31.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, February 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. First Financial Bancorp currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $29.90.
First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, January 18th. The bank reported $0.45 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.40 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $94.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $90.05 million. First Financial Bancorp had a net margin of 26.11% and a return on equity of 11.51%. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.38 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that First Financial Bancorp will post 2.11 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently declared 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. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 28th. This is a boost from First Financial Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.17. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.60%. First Financial Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 47.50%.
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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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