First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday, June 27th. The brokerage presently has a $30.00 price target on the bank’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 8.30% from the stock’s current price.
According to Zacks, “First Financial Bancorp., is a financial holding company that engages in the business of commercial banking, and other permissible activities that are financial in nature, through seventeen wholly owned subsidiary institutions. Bancorp provides management and similar services for its subsidiary financial institutions. Bancorp must depend largely upon its seventeen subsidiaries for funds with which to pay the expenses of its operation and, to the extent applicable, any dividends on its outstanding shares of stock. “
A number of other brokerages have also recently weighed in on FFBC. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and set a $27.00 price objective on shares of First Financial Bancorp. in a report on Monday, April 10th. BidaskClub cut First Financial Bancorp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 21st. ValuEngine raised First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 31st. Finally, DA Davidson initiated coverage on First Financial Bancorp. in a research note on Thursday, March 23rd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $30.00 price target on the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $27.50.
First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) opened at 27.75 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $26.46 and its 200 day moving average price is $27.44. First Financial Bancorp. has a 52 week low of $18.65 and a 52 week high of $29.80. The firm has a market cap of $1.72 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.50 and a beta of 1.20.
First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 20th. The bank reported $0.39 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.35 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $86.30 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $86.84 million. First Financial Bancorp. had a return on equity of 10.79% and a net margin of 24.42%. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.32 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that First Financial Bancorp. will post $1.56 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In related news, insider Paul C. Silva sold 1,713 shares of First Financial Bancorp. stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.66, for a total transaction of $47,381.58. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 2,051 shares in the company, valued at $56,730.66. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. 1.88% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Russell Investments Group Ltd. purchased a new stake in First Financial Bancorp. during the fourth quarter valued at $1,193,000. Comerica Bank raised its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 5.3% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 67,461 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $1,892,000 after buying an additional 3,376 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 19.4% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,691,898 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $48,138,000 after buying an additional 274,415 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 3.6% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,026,362 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $86,099,000 after buying an additional 103,860 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 5.4% in the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 347,800 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $9,895,000 after buying an additional 17,800 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 74.49% of the company’s stock.
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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