Royal Bank of Canada grew its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) by 19.4% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 27,863 shares of the bank’s stock after buying an additional 4,532 shares during the period. Royal Bank of Canada’s holdings in First Financial Bancorp. were worth $772,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in FFBC. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 2.0% during the second quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 289,215 shares of the bank’s stock worth $8,011,000 after purchasing an additional 5,766 shares during the last quarter. QS Investors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp. during the second quarter worth $1,110,000. Stifel Financial Corp boosted its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 0.5% during the second quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 45,613 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,264,000 after purchasing an additional 215 shares during the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 6.8% during the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 30,744 shares of the bank’s stock worth $852,000 after purchasing an additional 1,953 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 1.5% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,114,689 shares of the bank’s stock worth $86,278,000 after purchasing an additional 46,235 shares during the last quarter. 74.85% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Several research firms have recently issued reports on FFBC. Stephens upgraded First Financial Bancorp. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $31.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. Zacks Investment Research cut First Financial Bancorp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “hold” rating and set a $28.00 price objective on shares of First Financial Bancorp. in a report on Friday, September 8th. ValuEngine cut First Financial Bancorp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $28.00 price objective on First Financial Bancorp. and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 6th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $29.00.

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First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ FFBC) opened at $26.40 on Wednesday. First Financial Bancorp. has a fifty-two week low of $21.25 and a fifty-two week high of $29.80. The firm has a market capitalization of $1,694.48, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.28, a P/E/G ratio of 1.77 and a beta of 1.17. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.02, a current ratio of 0.93 and a quick ratio of 0.93.

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The bank reported $0.40 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.02. First Financial Bancorp. had a return on equity of 11.22% and a net margin of 26.49%. The firm had revenue of $83.95 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $88.30 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.37 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that First Financial Bancorp. will post 1.54 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, December 1st will be issued a $0.17 dividend. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.58%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 30th. First Financial Bancorp.’s payout ratio is currently 43.04%.

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.

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

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