Media coverage about First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) has been trending somewhat positive recently, Accern Sentiment Analysis reports. The research firm identifies negative and positive press coverage by analyzing more than twenty million blog and news sources. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. First Financial Bancorp earned a coverage optimism score of 0.23 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned news articles about the bank an impact score of 46.2299879173678 out of 100, meaning that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the company’s share price in the near future.

Here are some of the news stories that may have impacted Accern Sentiment’s rankings:

Several equities research analysts have issued reports on the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 7th. FIG Partners raised shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $31.00 price target on the stock in a report on Friday. Barclays boosted their price target on shares of First Financial Bancorp from $25.00 to $27.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Monday, October 23rd. 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. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $32.00 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $29.90.

Shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) opened at $27.75 on Tuesday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.91, a current ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93. First Financial Bancorp has a fifty-two week low of $22.80 and a fifty-two week high of $29.50. The firm has a market cap of $1,725.27, a PE ratio of 17.34, a PEG ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 1.19.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, January 18th. The bank reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.05. First Financial Bancorp had a net margin of 26.11% and a return on equity of 11.51%. The business had revenue of $94.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $90.05 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.38 EPS. research analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp will post 2.08 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 1st will be issued a $0.19 dividend. This is a positive change from First Financial Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.17. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 28th. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.74%. First Financial Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is presently 42.50%.

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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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