First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) Stock Rating Lowered by BidaskClub

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) was downgraded by investment analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Tuesday, BidAskClub reports.

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, January 9th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 30th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $24.00 price objective on shares of First Financial Bancorp and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 21st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $28.20.

FFBC stock traded up $0.06 on Tuesday, hitting $25.20. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 8,940 shares, compared to its average volume of 347,303. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $25.09 and a two-hundred day moving average of $24.33. First Financial Bancorp has a 1 year low of $22.07 and a 1 year high of $28.59. The stock has a market cap of $2.48 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.05 and a beta of 1.24. The company has a current ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 17th. The bank reported $0.56 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.02. First Financial Bancorp had a net margin of 27.72% and a return on equity of 10.13%. The firm had revenue of $154.68 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $150.98 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.58 EPS. As a group, equities analysts forecast that First Financial Bancorp will post 2.14 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other First Financial Bancorp news, Chairman Claude E. Davis sold 25,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.52, for a total value of $613,000.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 304,860 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,475,167.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Insiders own 2.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in FFBC. Bank of Montreal Can increased its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 78.5% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 18,538 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $448,000 after buying an additional 8,151 shares during the period. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 2.6% during the 2nd quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 680,292 shares of the bank’s stock worth $16,477,000 after purchasing an additional 17,267 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp grew its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 7.6% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 2,477,830 shares of the bank’s stock worth $60,012,000 after purchasing an additional 175,710 shares during the period. HighTower Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 203,346 shares of the bank’s stock worth $4,923,000 after purchasing an additional 536 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 1.5% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 14,530,060 shares of the bank’s stock worth $351,917,000 after purchasing an additional 218,329 shares during the period. 75.63% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

First Financial Bancorp Company Profile

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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