FIG Partners Analysts Cut Earnings Estimates for First Financial Bancorp (FFBC)

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) – Equities researchers at FIG Partners decreased their FY2019 earnings per share estimates for shares of First Financial Bancorp in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, April 10th, Zacks Investment Research reports. FIG Partners analyst J. Rodis now anticipates that the bank will post earnings per share of $2.18 for the year, down from their previous estimate of $2.26.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 25th. The bank reported $0.47 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.47. First Financial Bancorp had a net margin of 26.28% and a return on equity of 10.65%. The business had revenue of $148.34 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $150.53 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.49 earnings per share.

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on FFBC. BidaskClub lowered shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 19th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday. ValuEngine upgraded First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, February 4th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods lowered First Financial Bancorp from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $31.00 to $30.00 in a research note on Sunday, February 24th. Finally, Barclays reiterated a “sell” rating and issued a $26.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a research note on Friday, January 11th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $28.67.

NASDAQ FFBC traded up $0.62 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $25.78. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 339,676 shares, compared to its average volume of 368,354. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71, a current ratio of 1.24 and a quick ratio of 1.24. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.31, a P/E/G ratio of 1.15 and a beta of 1.22. First Financial Bancorp has a twelve month low of $22.27 and a twelve month high of $33.70.

First Financial Bancorp declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Monday, January 14th that allows the company to buyback 0 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the bank to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 17th. Investors of record on Monday, June 3rd will be paid a dividend of $0.22 per share. 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 (DPR) is presently 38.60%.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in FFBC. Bahl & Gaynor Inc. increased its position in First Financial Bancorp by 23.5% during the fourth quarter. Bahl & Gaynor Inc. now owns 299,205 shares of the bank’s stock worth $7,098,000 after buying an additional 56,863 shares during the last quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. grew its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 157.0% during the 4th quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 87,693 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,080,000 after purchasing an additional 53,575 shares in the last quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH grew its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 798.7% during the 3rd quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 74,278 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,206,000 after purchasing an additional 66,013 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Bank grew its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 0.5% during the 4th quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 95,739 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,528,000 after purchasing an additional 495 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc grew its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 2.1% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 9,764,366 shares of the bank’s stock worth $290,002,000 after purchasing an additional 197,490 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 75.75% of the company’s stock.

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.

Further Reading: Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) ETF

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on First Financial Bancorp (FFBC)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Earnings History and Estimates 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.