First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) shares hit a new 52-week high during trading on Friday . The company traded as high as $21.99 and last traded at $21.75, with a volume of 57,967 shares. The stock had previously closed at $21.75.

A number of research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 12th. Hilliard Lyons cut shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, July 25th. Barclays PLC lifted 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 note on Monday, July 25th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $21.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a research note on Thursday, July 7th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods lifted their target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp from $19.00 to $21.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, July 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and seven have issued a hold rating to the stock. First Financial Bancorp currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $20.21.

The firm has a market cap of $1.35 billion and a PE ratio of 16.70. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $20.99 and a 200-day moving average price of $19.19.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $0.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.34 by $0.02. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.31 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate 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 issued a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 31st.

In other news, Director Knapke Murph sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.20, for a total transaction of $318,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 50,929 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,079,694.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, COO Anthony M. Stollings sold 13,081 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.11, for a total value of $276,139.91. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

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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