Stifel Financial Corp boosted its stake in First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) by 27.6% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The fund owned 45,398 shares of the bank’s stock after buying an additional 9,821 shares during the period. Stifel Financial Corp’s holdings in First Financial Bancorp. were worth $1,247,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of First Financial Bancorp. during the fourth quarter valued at about $17,149,000. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 19.4% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,691,898 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $48,138,000 after buying an additional 274,415 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 27.8% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,219,079 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $33,463,000 after buying an additional 265,477 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 747.7% in the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 195,286 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $5,361,000 after buying an additional 172,249 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 3.6% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,026,362 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $86,099,000 after buying an additional 103,860 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 74.48% of the company’s stock.

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

Shares of First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) opened at 27.30 on Friday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $26.66 and its 200-day moving average is $27.49. First Financial Bancorp. has a 52 week low of $18.00 and a 52 week high of $29.80. The firm has a market cap of $1.70 billion, a PE ratio of 18.20 and a beta of 1.21.

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 20th. The bank reported $0.39 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.35 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $86.30 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $86.84 million. First Financial Bancorp. had a net margin of 24.42% and a return on equity of 10.79%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.32 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that First Financial Bancorp. will post $1.56 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 2nd will be issued a $0.17 dividend. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.49%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 31st. First Financial Bancorp.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 45.33%.

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Several research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. DA Davidson assumed coverage on shares of First Financial Bancorp. in a report on Thursday, March 23rd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $30.00 target price for the company. BidaskClub upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday. ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 31st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $30.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, May 16th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “hold” rating and issued a $27.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp. in a report on Monday, April 10th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $26.00.

In other First Financial Bancorp. news, insider Paul C. Silva sold 1,713 shares of First Financial Bancorp. stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.66, for a total value of $47,381.58. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 2,051 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $56,730.66. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 1.88% of the company’s stock.

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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