ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Wednesday, May 31st.

A number of other research analysts also recently commented on FFBC. DA Davidson initiated coverage on First Financial Bancorp. in a research note on Thursday, March 23rd. They issued a buy rating and a $30.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Financial Bancorp. from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $30.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, April 11th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a hold rating and issued a $27.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp. in a research note on Monday, April 10th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. First Financial Bancorp. currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $26.00.

Shares of First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ FFBC) opened at 27.30 on Wednesday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $26.66 and a 200-day moving average price of $27.49. First Financial Bancorp. has a 52 week low of $18.00 and a 52 week high of $29.80. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.70 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.20 and a beta of 1.21.

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 20th. The bank reported $0.39 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.35 by $0.04. First Financial Bancorp. had a return on equity of 10.79% and a net margin of 24.42%. The business had revenue of $86.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $86.84 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.32 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp. will post $1.56 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

WARNING: This piece was posted by The Cerbat Gem and is the property of of The Cerbat Gem. If you are reading this piece on another website, it was illegally copied and republished in violation of US & international copyright laws. The original version of this piece can be read at https://www.thecerbatgem.com/2017/06/17/first-financial-bancorp-ffbc-stock-rating-upgraded-by-valuengine-updated-updated.html.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 2nd will be issued a $0.17 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, May 31st. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.49%. First Financial Bancorp.’s payout ratio is presently 45.33%.

In other news, insider Paul C. Silva sold 1,713 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.66, for a total value of $47,381.58. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 2,051 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $56,730.66. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 1.88% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. boosted its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 2.8% in the first quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 4,439 shares of the bank’s stock worth $122,000 after buying an additional 122 shares during the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. acquired a new stake in First Financial Bancorp. during the first quarter worth approximately $139,000. Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 50.3% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 5,580 shares of the bank’s stock worth $153,000 after buying an additional 1,867 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 16.6% in the first quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 6,492 shares of the bank’s stock worth $178,000 after buying an additional 922 shares during the period. Finally, IFP Advisors Inc raised its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 0.5% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 6,506 shares of the bank’s stock worth $179,000 after buying an additional 31 shares during the period. 74.48% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

To view ValuEngine’s full report, visit ValuEngine’s official website.

Receive News & Stock Ratings for First Financial Bancorp. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for First Financial Bancorp. and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.