First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) had its price target hoisted by Barclays PLC from $20.00 to $22.00 in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has an “underweight” rating on the stock. Barclays PLC’s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 2.09% from the company’s current price.

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on FFBC. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $24.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, July 25th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods increased their price objective on shares of First Financial Bancorp from $19.00 to $21.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, July 25th. Hilliard Lyons downgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, July 25th. Raymond James Financial Inc. downgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 6th. Finally, Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $21.00 price objective on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a research note on Thursday, July 7th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and nine have given a hold rating to the stock. First Financial Bancorp currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $20.81.

Analyst Recommendations for First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC)

Shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) traded down 0.93% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $21.35. 74,018 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $21.77 and its 200-day moving average price is $20.21. The stock has a market cap of $1.32 billion, a PE ratio of 16.42 and a beta of 1.19. First Financial Bancorp has a 1-year low of $13.76 and a 1-year high of $22.53.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $0.36 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.34 by $0.02. First Financial Bancorp had a net margin of 22.23% and a return on equity of 9.82%. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.31 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp will post $1.41 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were issued a $0.16 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.97%. First Financial Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 49.23%.

In related news, EVP Holly M. Foster sold 2,021 shares of the firm’s 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 transaction, the executive vice president now owns 4,979 shares in the company, valued at approximately $108,741.36. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Knapke Murph sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.20, for a total transaction of $318,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 50,929 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,079,694.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.19% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of FFBC. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its position 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 during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its position in shares of 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 worth $30,244,000 after buying an additional 17,274 shares during the period. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI acquired a new position in shares of First Financial Bancorp during the first quarter worth about $1,304,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 107.8% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 19,733 shares of the company’s stock worth $384,000 after buying an additional 10,236 shares during the period. Finally, Lincoln National Corp raised its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 0.9% in the second quarter. Lincoln National Corp now owns 10,265 shares of the company’s stock worth $200,000 after buying an additional 90 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.70% of the company’s stock.

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.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:FFBC

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