First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) shares reached a new 52-week high during trading on Friday . The stock traded as high as $21.86 and last traded at $21.86, with a volume of 104,707 shares. The stock had previously closed at $21.17.

Several research analysts recently commented on the stock. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised their price target on shares of First Financial Bancorp from $19.00 to $21.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, July 25th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 12th. Hilliard Lyons downgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Barclays PLC raised their target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp from $19.00 to $20.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Finally, Jefferies Group reissued 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 and seven have issued a hold rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $20.21.

The stock has a market cap of $1.36 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.85. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $19.97 and its 200-day moving average price is $18.58.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $0.36 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.34 by $0.02. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.31 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that First Financial Bancorp will post $1.41 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 2nd will be given a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.92%.

In other First Financial Bancorp news, Director Knapke Murph sold 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.20, for a total value of $318,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 50,929 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,079,694.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, COO Anthony M. Stollings sold 13,081 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.11, for a total transaction of $276,139.91. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors recently bought and sold shares of the stock. US Bancorp DE boosted 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 worth $4,724,000 after buying an additional 10,375 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in First Financial Bancorp by 4.4% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 420,368 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,596,000 after buying an additional 17,531 shares during the last quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System boosted 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 worth $2,066,000 after buying an additional 1,870 shares during the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers boosted 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 worth $1,854,000 after buying an additional 4,435 shares during the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System boosted 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 worth $2,064,000 after buying an additional 3,500 shares during the last quarter.

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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