MetLife Investment Advisors LLC lifted its position in First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) by 58.4% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 44,701 shares of the bank’s stock after acquiring an additional 16,487 shares during the quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in First Financial Bancorp were worth $1,370,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. First Mercantile Trust Co. purchased a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $105,000. SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $120,000. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 597.3% in the 2nd quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,567 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $140,000 after acquiring an additional 3,912 shares in the last quarter. Neuburgh Advisers LLC purchased a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $146,000. Finally, Riverhead Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $159,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.84% of the company’s stock.

In other news, COO Anthony M. Stollings sold 15,847 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.59, for a total transaction of $500,606.73. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Vince Berta purchased 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 31st. The shares were acquired at an average price of $29.95 per share, for a total transaction of $44,925.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 6,527 shares in the company, valued at $195,483.65. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders acquired 2,193 shares of company stock valued at $66,237. Insiders own 3.36% of the company’s stock.

Several equities research analysts recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $34.00 price target for the company in a research report on Friday, September 21st. BidaskClub downgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 20th. DA Davidson upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 26th. Stephens reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $35.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a research report on Monday, July 23rd. Finally, Barclays cut their target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp from $32.00 to $31.00 and set a “$31.40” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, July 23rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. First Financial Bancorp currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $31.67.

FFBC stock opened at $29.75 on Wednesday. First Financial Bancorp has a 12-month low of $24.80 and a 12-month high of $33.70. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a current ratio of 0.93 and a quick ratio of 0.92. The company has a market capitalization of $2.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.48, a P/E/G ratio of 1.33 and a beta of 1.03.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 19th. The bank reported $0.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.52 by $0.05. First Financial Bancorp had a net margin of 25.41% and a return on equity of 12.13%. The company had revenue of $152.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $147.77 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.37 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 77.0% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp will post 2.25 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 3rd were given a $0.20 dividend. This is an increase from First Financial Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 30th. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.69%. First Financial Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is presently 49.69%.

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.

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

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