BidaskClub Downgrades First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) to Sell

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First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) was downgraded by stock analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Thursday.

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on FFBC. Stephens reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $35.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a research report on Monday, July 23rd. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, June 22nd. Sandler O’Neill reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $35.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a research report on Friday, July 20th. Barclays decreased their target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp from $32.00 to $31.00 and set a “$31.40” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 23rd. Finally, DA Davidson raised shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. First Financial Bancorp currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $31.67.

NASDAQ FFBC opened at $29.95 on Thursday. First Financial Bancorp has a 12 month low of $24.65 and a 12 month high of $33.70. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a current ratio of 0.93. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.98 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.60, a P/E/G ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 1.03.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 19th. The bank reported $0.57 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.05. First Financial Bancorp had a net margin of 25.41% and a return on equity of 12.13%. The company had revenue of $152.20 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $147.77 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.37 earnings per share. First Financial Bancorp’s revenue for the quarter was up 77.0% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that First Financial Bancorp will post 2.25 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other First Financial Bancorp news, COO Anthony M. Stollings sold 15,847 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.59, for a total transaction of $500,606.73. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Vince Berta purchased 1,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 31st. The shares were acquired at an average price of $29.95 per share, for a total transaction of $44,925.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 6,527 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $195,483.65. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have acquired 2,193 shares of company stock worth $66,237 over the last quarter. Insiders own 3.36% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 13.3% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 193,508 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $5,679,000 after buying an additional 22,746 shares during the period. Rhumbline Advisers boosted its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 1.1% in the first quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 151,601 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $4,449,000 after buying an additional 1,678 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp in the first quarter valued at approximately $120,000. Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 32.8% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 482,900 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $14,173,000 after buying an additional 119,225 shares during the period. Finally, Swiss National Bank boosted its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 62.3% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 169,943 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $4,988,000 after buying an additional 65,243 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 73.85% of the company’s stock.

First Financial Bancorp Company Profile

First Financial Bancorp. operates as the bank holding company for First Financial Bank that provides commercial banking and other banking, and banking-related services to individuals and businesses in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. 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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Analyst Recommendations for First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC)

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