First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) insider Bradley J. Ringwald sold 800 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.31, for a total transaction of $20,248.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 8,189 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $207,263.59. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link.

Shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) traded up 1.14% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $26.65. 78,939 shares of the company were exchanged. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $22.37 and its 200 day moving average price is $21.03. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.65 billion, a PE ratio of 19.45 and a beta of 1.07. First Financial Bancorp has a 12 month low of $13.76 and a 12 month high of $26.70.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 20th. The company reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.36 by $0.01. First Financial Bancorp had a net margin of 23.05% and a return on equity of 10.17%. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.30 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that First Financial Bancorp will post $1.42 earnings per share for the current year.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC)

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 2nd will be paid a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.43%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 30th. First Financial Bancorp’s payout ratio is 46.72%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. 1st Global Advisors Inc. increased its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 0.7% in the third quarter. 1st Global Advisors Inc. now owns 11,253 shares of the company’s stock worth $246,000 after buying an additional 83 shares during the period. Lincoln National Corp increased its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 0.9% in the third quarter. Lincoln National Corp now owns 10,354 shares of the company’s stock worth $226,000 after buying an additional 89 shares during the period. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System increased its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 0.4% in the second quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 27,400 shares of the company’s stock worth $533,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Capstone Asset Management Co. increased its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 1.0% in the second quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 15,799 shares of the company’s stock worth $307,000 after buying an additional 150 shares during the period. Finally, Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan increased its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 1.6% in the third quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 13,730 shares of the company’s stock worth $300,000 after buying an additional 220 shares during the period. 72.75% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on FFBC shares. Raymond James Financial Inc. cut shares of First Financial Bancorp from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, October 6th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $24.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 12th. Barclays PLC increased their target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp from $20.00 to $22.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 11th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. started coverage on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a report on Thursday, October 6th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $23.00 target price for the company. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $20.81.

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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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