Wall Street brokerages forecast that First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) will report $0.53 earnings per share (EPS) for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Three analysts have made estimates for First Financial Bancorp’s earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $0.52 and the highest is $0.54. First Financial Bancorp reported earnings of $0.61 per share in the same quarter last year, which indicates a negative year over year growth rate of 13.1%. The firm is expected to report its next earnings results on Wednesday, January 22nd.
According to Zacks, analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp will report full-year earnings of $2.13 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.11 to $2.15. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the company will post earnings of $2.04 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.97 to $2.11. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS averages are an average based on a survey of analysts that follow First Financial Bancorp.
First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 17th. The bank reported $0.56 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.02. First Financial Bancorp had a return on equity of 10.13% and a net margin of 27.72%. The company had revenue of $154.68 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $150.98 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.58 EPS.
Several equities analysts have commented on FFBC shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 17th. ValuEngine raised First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 30th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $24.00 price target on First Financial Bancorp and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, October 21st. Finally, BidaskClub raised First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 12th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. First Financial Bancorp currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $27.86.
NASDAQ FFBC traded down $0.03 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $24.27. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 224,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 346,975. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $24.07 and its 200-day moving average price is $23.98. First Financial Bancorp has a 1 year low of $22.07 and a 1 year high of $28.59. The company has a market capitalization of $2.43 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.64 and a beta of 1.22. The company has a quick ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.26.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 16th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 2nd will be given a dividend of $0.23 per share. This represents a $0.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.79%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 29th. First Financial Bancorp’s payout ratio is 40.35%.
In other news, Director Vince Berta purchased 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 27th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $22.45 per share, with a total value of $33,675.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Chairman Claude E. Davis sold 26,657 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, September 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.32, for a total value of $674,955.24. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 329,860 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,352,055.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of FFBC. BBVA USA Bancshares Inc. lifted its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 18.2% during the 3rd quarter. BBVA USA Bancshares Inc. now owns 19,792 shares of the bank’s stock worth $485,000 after purchasing an additional 3,045 shares during the last quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 1.7% during the 3rd quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 33,470 shares of the bank’s stock worth $819,000 after purchasing an additional 553 shares during the last quarter. Patriot Financial Partners GP LP purchased a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp during the 3rd quarter worth $10,620,000. First Trust Advisors LP lifted its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 6.1% during the 3rd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 159,644 shares of the bank’s stock worth $3,907,000 after purchasing an additional 9,133 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Parallel Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp during the 3rd quarter worth $25,000. 74.04% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
About First Financial Bancorp
First Financial Bancorp. operates as the bank holding company for First Financial Bank that provides commercial banking and related services to individuals and businesses in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. The company accepts various deposit products, such as interest-bearing and noninterest-bearing accounts, time deposits, and cash management services for commercial customers.
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