Chartwell Investment Partners LLC decreased its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) by 2.3% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 555,149 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 12,790 shares during the quarter. Chartwell Investment Partners LLC owned approximately 0.56% of First Financial Bancorp worth $13,357,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. State of Alaska Department of Revenue raised its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 1.4% during the 1st quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 33,164 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $797,000 after buying an additional 445 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 4.1% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,085,173 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $25,740,000 after buying an additional 42,890 shares in the last quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC raised its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 11.2% during the 4th quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC now owns 8,901 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $211,000 after buying an additional 900 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of First Financial Bancorp during the 4th quarter valued at about $28,757,000. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB raised its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 10.5% during the 4th quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 162,597 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,858,000 after buying an additional 15,503 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.75% of the company’s stock.
FFBC has been the topic of a number of research reports. Zacks Investment Research cut First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, April 15th. ValuEngine upgraded First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, February 4th. BidaskClub lowered First Financial Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 1st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods lowered First Financial Bancorp from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and reduced their price target for the stock from $31.00 to $30.00 in a research report on Sunday, February 24th. Finally, Stephens lowered First Financial Bancorp from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 6th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $28.67.
First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The bank reported $0.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.47. The business had revenue of $148.34 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $150.53 million. First Financial Bancorp had a return on equity of 10.65% and a net margin of 26.28%. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.49 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that First Financial Bancorp will post 2.19 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 17th. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 3rd will be given a $0.22 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 31st. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.41%. First Financial Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 38.60%.
First Financial Bancorp announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Monday, January 14th that allows the company to repurchase 0 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the bank to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
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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