First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) Raised to Hold at ValuEngine

ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Monday, February 4th.

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, January 17th. Stephens restated a buy rating and issued a $30.00 price objective on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a report on Wednesday, December 19th. Sandler O’Neill lowered shares of First Financial Bancorp from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $30.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Thursday, November 29th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, January 28th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded shares of 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 report on Sunday, October 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $30.43.

Shares of FFBC stock traded down $0.10 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $27.63. 187,949 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 280,259. First Financial Bancorp has a fifty-two week low of $22.27 and a fifty-two week high of $33.70. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.12, a PEG ratio of 1.22 and a beta of 1.23. The company has a current ratio of 0.91, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, January 23rd. The bank reported $0.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.03. First Financial Bancorp had a net margin of 26.81% and a return on equity of 11.63%. The company had revenue of $155.46 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $152.75 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.45 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that First Financial Bancorp will post 2.31 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 1st will be issued a $0.22 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 28th. This is a positive change from First Financial Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.18%. First Financial Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 35.09%.

First Financial Bancorp announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Monday, January 14th that permits the company to repurchase 0 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the bank to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Comerica Bank increased its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 0.5% during the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 95,739 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,528,000 after acquiring an additional 495 shares in the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue grew its position in First Financial Bancorp by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 32,719 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $776,000 after purchasing an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can grew its position in First Financial Bancorp by 9.0% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 8,586 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $203,000 after purchasing an additional 708 shares in the last quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. grew its position in First Financial Bancorp by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 23,434 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $556,000 after purchasing an additional 749 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Strs Ohio grew its position in First Financial Bancorp by 15.7% in the fourth quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 5,900 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $139,000 after purchasing an additional 800 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 73.71% of the company’s stock.

First Financial Bancorp Company Profile

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.

Recommended Story: Market Capitalization – What it Means for Investors

To view ValuEngine’s full report, visit ValuEngine’s official website.

Analyst Recommendations for First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC)

Receive News & Ratings for First Financial Bancorp Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for First Financial Bancorp and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.