Prudential Financial Inc. reduced its stake in First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) by 12.1% during the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 351,493 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 48,320 shares during the quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. owned about 0.36% of First Financial Bancorp worth $10,439,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in FFBC. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 3.5% during the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 3,264,657 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $96,960,000 after purchasing an additional 110,575 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 8.4% during the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 197,652 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $5,871,000 after purchasing an additional 15,297 shares during the period. Bedel Financial Consulting Inc. grew its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 26.1% during the 3rd quarter. Bedel Financial Consulting Inc. now owns 27,412 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $758,000 after purchasing an additional 5,677 shares during the period. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. grew its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 817.2% during the 3rd quarter. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 44,895 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $1,333,000 after purchasing an additional 40,000 shares during the period. Finally, Assenagon Asset Management S.A. bought a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp during the 3rd quarter valued at about $1,013,000. 73.82% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of NASDAQ:FFBC opened at $25.71 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $2.73 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.97, a P/E/G ratio of 1.23 and a beta of 1.15. The company has a quick ratio of 0.94, a current ratio of 0.94 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86. First Financial Bancorp has a 12-month low of $24.05 and a 12-month high of $33.70.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The bank reported $0.58 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.57 by $0.01. First Financial Bancorp had a return on equity of 11.70% and a net margin of 25.08%. The company had revenue of $152.80 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $151.74 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.39 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 63.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp will post 2.24 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 17th. Investors of record on Monday, December 3rd will be issued a $0.20 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 30th. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.11%. First Financial Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is presently 49.69%.

FFBC has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 23rd. Barclays cut their price objective on First Financial Bancorp from $31.00 to $29.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, October 22nd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded First Financial Bancorp from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $34.00 to $32.00 in a research note on Sunday, October 21st. BidaskClub downgraded First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 20th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, October 19th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $31.75.

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About First Financial Bancorp

First Financial Bancorp. operates as the bank holding company for First Financial Bank that provides commercial banking and other banking, and banking-related services to individuals and businesses in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. The company accepts various deposit products, such as interest-bearing and noninterest-bearing accounts, time deposits, and cash management services for commercial customers.

See Also: Ex-Dividend

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC)

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