Shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Friday . The stock traded as high as $21.00 and last traded at $20.38, with a volume of 64,392 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $20.27.

Several analysts have issued reports on FFBC shares. Royal Bank Of Canada increased their target price on First Financial Bancorp from $18.00 to $20.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Monday, April 4th. Zacks Investment Research cut First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, April 15th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods cut First Financial Bancorp from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, April 25th. Finally, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $21.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $19.44.

The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $19.49 and a 200 day moving average price of $18.20. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.27 billion and a P/E ratio of 16.52.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, April 21st. The company reported $0.32 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.33 by $0.01. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.29 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that First Financial Bancorp will post $1.39 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, June 1st were given a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.12%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 27th.

In other First Financial Bancorp news, CEO Claude E. Davis sold 8,750 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.74, for a total value of $172,725.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 295,893 shares in the company, valued at $5,840,927.82. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Richard S. Barbercheck sold 1,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $18.97, for a total transaction of $28,455.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 22,300 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $423,031. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other institutional investors have bought and sold shares of the company. California State Teachers Retirement System increased its position in First Financial Bancorp by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 114,331 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,066,000 after buying an additional 1,870 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in First Financial Bancorp by 3.2% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 114,200 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,064,000 after buying an additional 3,500 shares during the period. Rhumbline Advisers increased its position in First Financial Bancorp by 4.5% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 102,606 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,854,000 after buying an additional 4,435 shares during the period. Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its position in First Financial Bancorp by 4.6% in the fourth quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 156,762 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,833,000 after buying an additional 6,863 shares during the period. Finally, US Bancorp DE increased its position in First Financial Bancorp by 4.1% in the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 261,427 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,724,000 after buying an additional 10,375 shares during the period.

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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