Media stories about First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) have been trending somewhat positive recently, Accern reports. Accern ranks the sentiment of media coverage by analyzing more than 20 million blog and news sources. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. First Financial Bancorp. earned a media sentiment score of 0.11 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned news articles about the bank an impact score of 46.308101156084 out of 100, meaning that recent media coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the next few days.

Here are some of the news articles that may have impacted Accern Sentiment’s rankings:

Several research analysts have weighed in on FFBC shares. BidaskClub upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 14th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 31st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $29.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, May 30th. Sandler O’Neill upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $28.00 to $29.00 in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $29.00 price target on shares of First Financial Bancorp. in a research report on Friday, July 7th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $28.63.

Shares of First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ FFBC) traded down 2.02% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $24.30. 549,153 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a market cap of $1.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.09 and a beta of 1.18. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $26.93 and a 200 day moving average of $27.18. First Financial Bancorp. has a 12 month low of $20.55 and a 12 month high of $29.80.

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.37 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $85.97 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $89.52 million. First Financial Bancorp. had a net margin of 24.28% and a return on equity of 10.65%. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.36 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp. will post $1.52 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, September 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.17 per share. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.80%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 30th. First Financial Bancorp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 45.03%.

In related news, insider C Douglas Lefferson sold 40,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.69, for a total transaction of $1,027,600.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 74,170 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,905,427.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 1.88% of the company’s stock.

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About First Financial Bancorp.

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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC)

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