Piper Jaffray Cos. Begins Coverage on First Financial Bancorp (FFBC)
Piper Jaffray Cos. assumed coverage on shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) in a research report released on Thursday. The brokerage issued a neutral rating and a $23.00 price objective on the stock.
A number of other research firms have also commented on FFBC. Zacks Investment Research raised First Financial Bancorp from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $24.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, July 25th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods lifted their target price on First Financial Bancorp from $19.00 to $21.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a report on Monday, July 25th. Hilliard Lyons lowered First Financial Bancorp from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Monday, July 25th. Barclays PLC lifted their target price on First Financial Bancorp from $19.00 to $20.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a report on Monday, July 25th. Finally, Jefferies Group reissued a hold rating and issued a $21.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a report on Thursday, July 7th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and nine have assigned a hold rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $20.81.
Shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) opened at 21.45 on Thursday. First Financial Bancorp has a one year low of $13.76 and a one year high of $22.53. The stock has a market cap of $1.33 billion, a PE ratio of 16.50 and a beta of 1.19. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $21.77 and its 200-day moving average price is $20.22.
First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $0.36 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.34 by $0.02. First Financial Bancorp had a return on equity of 9.82% and a net margin of 22.23%. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.31 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that First Financial Bancorp will post $1.41 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, September 2nd were issued a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.98%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 31st. First Financial Bancorp’s payout ratio is currently 49.23%.
In related news, EVP Holly M. Foster sold 2,021 shares of First Financial Bancorp stock in a transaction on Friday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.84, for a total value of $44,138.64. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 4,979 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $108,741.36. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, COO Anthony M. Stollings sold 13,081 shares of First Financial Bancorp 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. 2.19% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. IFP Advisors Inc increased its position in First Financial Bancorp by 0.9% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 5,529 shares of the company’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 49 shares during the period. PineBridge Investments L.P. increased its position in First Financial Bancorp by 4.2% in the second quarter. PineBridge Investments L.P. now owns 7,845 shares of the company’s stock valued at $153,000 after buying an additional 314 shares during the period. Teacher Retirement System of Texas increased its position in First Financial Bancorp by 11.1% in the second quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 8,615 shares of the company’s stock valued at $168,000 after buying an additional 864 shares during the period. Societe Generale bought a new position in First Financial Bancorp during the second quarter valued at $172,000. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC increased its position in First Financial Bancorp by 54.1% in the second quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 8,825 shares of the company’s stock valued at $172,000 after buying an additional 3,100 shares during the period. 72.70% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
First Financial Bancorp Company Profile
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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