Media coverage about First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) has been trending positive recently, Accern Sentiment reports. The research firm rates the sentiment of media coverage by reviewing more than twenty million blog and news sources. Accern ranks coverage of companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. First Financial Bancorp earned a media sentiment score of 0.26 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned media headlines about the bank an impact score of 45.9729206394287 out of 100, meaning that recent media coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the stock’s share price in the immediate future.

Several research analysts have commented on FFBC shares. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $28.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a report on Friday, October 20th. Zacks Investment Research raised First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $32.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. Barclays lifted their target price on First Financial Bancorp from $27.00 to $30.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. BidaskClub downgraded First Financial Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, December 16th. Finally, Hilliard Lyons raised First Financial Bancorp from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, January 22nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. First Financial Bancorp currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $29.78.

Shares of First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) traded down $0.20 during trading on Thursday, reaching $27.80. The company had a trading volume of 83,166 shares, compared to its average volume of 394,846. First Financial Bancorp has a twelve month low of $22.80 and a twelve month high of $29.50. The company has a market cap of $1,706.65, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.41, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.32 and a beta of 1.19. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.92 and a quick ratio of 0.91.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, January 18th. The bank reported $0.45 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.40 by $0.05. First Financial Bancorp had a return on equity of 11.51% and a net margin of 26.11%. The business had revenue of $94.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $90.05 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.38 EPS. sell-side analysts predict that First Financial Bancorp will post 2.08 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 1st will be given a $0.19 dividend. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.73%. This is a positive change from First Financial Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.17. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 28th. First Financial Bancorp’s payout ratio is presently 42.50%.

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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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