News headlines about First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) have been trending somewhat positive recently, Accern Sentiment Analysis reports. Accern identifies positive and negative media coverage by monitoring more than twenty million blog and news sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. First Financial Bancorp. earned a news sentiment score of 0.19 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned press coverage about the bank an impact score of 46.1033755026906 out of 100, indicating that recent media coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the stock’s share price in the next several days.

Here are some of the headlines that may have effected Accern Sentiment’s rankings:

A number of analysts have commented on FFBC shares. BidaskClub upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 14th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note 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 for the company in a research note 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 company from $28.00 to $29.00 in a research note 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 note on Friday, July 7th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $28.50.

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) traded up 0.60% during trading on Friday, reaching $25.05. 265,983 shares of the company were exchanged. First Financial Bancorp. has a one year low of $20.55 and a one year high of $29.80. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $24.53 and its 200-day moving average price is $26.44. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.59 and a beta of 1.19.

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 Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.38 by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $85.97 million for 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 research analysts predict that First Financial Bancorp. will post $1.52 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.17 per share. This represents a $0.68 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.71%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 30th. First Financial Bancorp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 45.03%.

In other news, insider C Douglas Lefferson sold 40,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was 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 in the company, valued at $1,905,427.30. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Over the last ninety days, insiders have acquired 797 shares of company stock worth $20,099. 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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