First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) Coverage Initiated by Analysts at Piper Jaffray Cos.
Piper Jaffray Cos. began coverage on shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) in a research note issued to investors on Thursday. The firm issued a neutral rating and a $23.00 price target on the stock.
Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Financial Bancorp from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, July 12th. Jefferies Group reiterated a hold rating and issued a $21.00 price target on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a report on Thursday, July 7th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised their price target on First Financial Bancorp from $19.00 to $21.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a report on Monday, July 25th. Hilliard Lyons cut First Financial Bancorp from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Monday, July 25th. Finally, Barclays PLC raised their price target on First Financial Bancorp from $19.00 to $20.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a report on Monday, July 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and nine have issued a hold rating to the stock. First Financial Bancorp currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $20.56.
Shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) traded down 0.56% during trading on Thursday, hitting $21.27. The stock had a trading volume of 44,679 shares. First Financial Bancorp has a 1-year low of $13.76 and a 1-year high of $22.53. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $21.78 and a 200 day moving average of $20.14. The company has a market capitalization of $1.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.36 and a beta of 1.19.
First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $0.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.34 by $0.02. First Financial Bancorp had a return on equity of 9.82% and a net margin of 22.23%. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.31 EPS. Analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp will post $1.41 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, September 2nd were given a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.99%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 31st. First Financial Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is presently 49.23%.
In related news, COO Anthony M. Stollings sold 13,081 shares of First Financial Bancorp stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.11, for a total value of $276,139.91. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Holly M. Foster sold 2,021 shares of First Financial Bancorp stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.84, for a total value of $44,138.64. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 4,979 shares in the company, valued at approximately $108,741.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.19% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 1.2% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 3,856,226 shares of the company’s stock worth $70,106,000 after buying an additional 44,487 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its position in First Financial Bancorp by 1.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 1,663,592 shares of the company’s stock valued at $30,244,000 after buying an additional 17,274 shares during the period. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI bought a new position in First Financial Bancorp during the first quarter valued at $1,304,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its position in First Financial Bancorp by 107.8% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 19,733 shares of the company’s stock valued at $384,000 after buying an additional 10,236 shares during the period. Finally, Lincoln National Corp raised its position in First Financial Bancorp by 0.9% in the second quarter. Lincoln National Corp now owns 10,265 shares of the company’s stock valued at $200,000 after buying an additional 90 shares during the period. 72.70% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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