GW&K Investment Management LLC Acquires Shares of 9,420 First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC)

GW&K Investment Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund purchased 9,420 shares of the bank’s stock, valued at approximately $261,000.

Several other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in FFBC. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 1.3% in the first quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 2,466,492 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $67,705,000 after buying an additional 30,856 shares during the period. HighTower Advisors LLC raised its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 15.8% in the first quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 23,153 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $636,000 after buying an additional 3,153 shares in the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC raised its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 13.7% in the first quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 226,504 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $6,218,000 after buying an additional 27,214 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 14.6% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,939,096 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $53,223,000 after buying an additional 247,198 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE raised its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 254.4% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 226,074 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $6,206,000 after buying an additional 162,292 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 67.23% of the company’s stock.

Shares of First Financial Bancorp. (FFBC) traded down 2.02% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $24.30. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 518,402 shares. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $26.98 and its 200-day moving average price is $27.20. First Financial Bancorp. has a 12 month low of $20.55 and a 12 month high of $29.80. The company has a market cap of $1.51 billion, a PE ratio of 16.09 and a beta of 1.18.

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.37 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.01. First Financial Bancorp. had a net margin of 24.28% and a return on equity of 10.65%. The business had revenue of $85.97 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $89.52 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.36 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that First Financial Bancorp. will post $1.52 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, September 1st will be issued a $0.17 dividend. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.80%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 30th. First Financial Bancorp.’s payout ratio is 45.03%.

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Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Sandler O’Neill raised First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $28.00 to $29.00 in a research note on Friday, July 28th. BidaskClub raised First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 14th. Barclays PLC dropped their price objective on First Financial Bancorp. from $27.00 to $25.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $28.00 price objective on First Financial Bancorp. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $30.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $28.63.

In other First Financial Bancorp. news, insider C Douglas Lefferson sold 40,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.69, for a total value of $1,027,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 74,170 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,905,427.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 1.88% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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.

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

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