Citigroup Inc. Grows Holdings in First Financial Bancorp (FFBC)

Citigroup Inc. lifted its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) by 65.9% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 24,399 shares of the bank’s stock after purchasing an additional 9,691 shares during the period. Citigroup Inc.’s holdings in First Financial Bancorp were worth $579,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in FFBC. Eukles Asset Management acquired a new position in First Financial Bancorp in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $49,000. Strs Ohio lifted its holdings in First Financial Bancorp by 15.7% in the fourth quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 5,900 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its holdings in First Financial Bancorp by 14.3% in the fourth quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 7,078 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $168,000 after buying an additional 888 shares during the period. Sowell Financial Services LLC acquired a new position in First Financial Bancorp in the third quarter valued at approximately $238,000. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can lifted its holdings in First Financial Bancorp by 9.0% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 8,586 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $203,000 after buying an additional 708 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 75.99% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts recently weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 22nd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods lowered shares of First Financial Bancorp from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $31.00 to $30.00 in a report on Sunday, February 24th. Stephens lowered shares of First Financial Bancorp from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, February 4th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th. Four 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. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $29.29.

Shares of First Financial Bancorp stock traded down $0.46 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $24.44. 214,160 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 412,598. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.45 billion, a PE ratio of 10.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.09 and a beta of 1.22. The company has a current ratio of 0.91, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69. First Financial Bancorp has a 12 month low of $22.27 and a 12 month high of $33.70.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 23rd. The bank reported $0.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $155.46 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $152.75 million. First Financial Bancorp had a net margin of 26.81% and a return on equity of 11.63%. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.45 EPS. As a group, research analysts anticipate that First Financial Bancorp will post 2.25 earnings per share for the current year.

First Financial Bancorp announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Monday, January 14th that authorizes the company to buyback 0 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the bank to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

COPYRIGHT VIOLATION WARNING: This article was first published by Baseball Daily News and is the sole property of of Baseball Daily News. If you are reading this article on another site, it was stolen and reposted in violation of U.S. and international trademark and copyright legislation. The legal version of this article can be viewed at https://www.baseballdailydigest.com/news/2019/04/15/first-financial-bancorp-ffbc-shares-bought-by-citigroup-inc.html.

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.

Further Reading: How is the LIBOR rate calculated?

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

Receive News & Ratings for First Financial Bancorp Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for First Financial Bancorp and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.