BidaskClub cut shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday.

FFBC has been the topic of several other research reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Hilliard Lyons raised shares of First Financial Bancorp from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $33.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, January 22nd. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $28.00 price target on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a report on Friday, October 20th. Barclays lifted their price target on shares of First Financial Bancorp from $27.00 to $30.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $28.00 price target on shares of First Financial Bancorp and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Friday, October 6th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $29.78.

Shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ FFBC) opened at $28.50 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.92, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93. The stock has a market cap of $1,762.51, a P/E ratio of 17.75, a P/E/G ratio of 1.37 and a beta of 1.17. First Financial Bancorp has a 12-month low of $22.80 and a 12-month high of $29.50.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, January 18th. The bank reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $94.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates 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 business posted $0.38 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that First Financial Bancorp will post 2.08 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.19 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 28th. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.67%. This is an increase from First Financial Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.17. First Financial Bancorp’s payout ratio is currently 42.50%.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 400,599 shares of the bank’s stock worth $10,556,000 after buying an additional 6,774 shares in the last quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP purchased a new position in shares of First Financial Bancorp in the third quarter worth $2,605,000. Truepoint Inc. purchased a new position in shares of First Financial Bancorp in the third quarter worth $309,000. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 5.3% in the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 104,444 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,731,000 after buying an additional 5,244 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new position in shares of First Financial Bancorp in the third quarter worth $269,000. 77.81% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC)

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