First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) was downgraded by equities research analysts at ValuEngine from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

Several other equities analysts also recently issued reports on FFBC. BidaskClub downgraded First Financial Bancorp. from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $30.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, May 16th. Sandler O’Neill upgraded First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $28.00 to $29.00 in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Stephens upgraded First Financial Bancorp. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $31.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Finally, Barclays PLC cut their price objective on First Financial Bancorp. from $27.00 to $25.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. First Financial Bancorp. presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $28.63.

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ FFBC) traded up 0.42% on Friday, hitting $24.05. The stock had a trading volume of 165,563 shares. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $25.50 and its 200-day moving average price is $26.80. The firm has a market cap of $1.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.93 and a beta of 1.18. First Financial Bancorp. has a 1-year low of $20.55 and a 1-year high of $29.80.

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.01. First Financial Bancorp. had a net margin of 24.28% and a return on equity of 10.65%. The business had revenue of $85.97 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $89.52 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.36 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that First Financial Bancorp. will post $1.52 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, insider C Douglas Lefferson sold 40,000 shares of First Financial Bancorp. stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.69, for a total value of $1,027,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 74,170 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,905,427.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 1.88% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Miles Capital Inc. boosted its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 0.3% in the first quarter. Miles Capital Inc. now owns 10,135 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $278,000 after buying an additional 27 shares during the period. IFP Advisors Inc boosted 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 valued at $179,000 after buying an additional 31 shares during the period. Alps Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 0.3% in the second quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 17,163 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $475,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the period. 1st Global Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 0.5% in the second quarter. 1st Global Advisors Inc. now owns 9,846 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $273,000 after buying an additional 53 shares during the period. Finally, Lincoln National Corp boosted its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 0.6% in the first quarter. Lincoln National Corp now owns 10,489 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $288,000 after buying an additional 58 shares during the period. 74.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

First Financial Bancorp. Company Profile

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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