Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) by 5.1% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 127,767 shares of the bank’s stock after purchasing an additional 6,231 shares during the quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN owned 0.21% of First Financial Bancorp. worth $3,539,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in FFBC. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. acquired a new stake in First Financial Bancorp. during the 1st quarter valued at $139,000. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 16.6% during the 1st quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 6,492 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $178,000 after purchasing an additional 922 shares during the period. IFP Advisors Inc raised its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 6,542 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $181,000 after purchasing an additional 36 shares during the period. GW&K Investment Management LLC acquired a new stake in First Financial Bancorp. during the 2nd quarter valued at $261,000. Finally, OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 58.3% during the 1st quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 11,404 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $313,000 after purchasing an additional 4,202 shares during the period. 74.23% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

FFBC has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. BidaskClub downgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 22nd. Barclays PLC lowered their price target on shares of First Financial Bancorp. from $27.00 to $25.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Sandler O’Neill upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $28.00 to $29.00 in a report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $28.00 price target on shares of First Financial Bancorp. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 25th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $28.29.

In related news, insider C Douglas Lefferson sold 40,000 shares of the firm’s 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 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 hyperlink. Over the last 90 days, insiders have purchased 801 shares of company stock worth $20,054. 1.88% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

First Financial Bancorp. (FFBC) opened at 26.05 on Wednesday. First Financial Bancorp. has a 12-month low of $20.55 and a 12-month high of $29.80. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.62 billion, a PE ratio of 17.25 and a beta of 1.20. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $25.04 and its 200 day moving average is $26.25.

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.37 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.38 by ($0.01). First Financial Bancorp. had a return on equity of 10.65% and a net margin of 24.28%. The company had revenue of $85.97 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $89.52 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.36 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that First Financial Bancorp. will post $1.52 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, September 1st were issued a dividend of $0.17 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.61%. First Financial Bancorp.’s payout ratio is 45.03%.

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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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC)

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