First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC)’s share price hit 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 traded. The stock had previously closed at $21.17.

Several equities analysts have recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $24.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods increased 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 report on Monday, July 25th. Hilliard Lyons cut shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Barclays PLC increased their price target on shares of First Financial Bancorp from $19.00 to $20.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Finally, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $21.00 price target on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and seven have assigned a hold rating to the company’s stock. First Financial Bancorp currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $20.21.

The firm has a market cap of $1.36 billion and a PE ratio of 16.85. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $20.06 and a 200 day moving average price of $18.60.

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

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

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

Other hedge funds and institutional investors recently bought and sold shares of the company. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased 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 valued at $7,596,000 after buying an additional 17,531 shares during the last quarter. 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 last quarter. 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 last quarter. 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 last quarter. Finally, 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 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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