First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) Expected to Announce Earnings of $0.47 Per Share

Equities research analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) will announce earnings per share of $0.47 for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Four analysts have issued estimates for First Financial Bancorp’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $0.48 and the lowest is $0.47. First Financial Bancorp posted earnings per share of $0.52 in the same quarter last year, which indicates a negative year over year growth rate of 9.6%. The business is scheduled to issue its next earnings results after the market closes on Thursday, April 25th.

On average, analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp will report full-year earnings of $2.25 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.18 to $2.32. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the company will report earnings of $2.33 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.24 to $2.45. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that follow First Financial Bancorp.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 23rd. The bank reported $0.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $155.46 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $152.75 million. First Financial Bancorp had a return on equity of 11.63% and a net margin of 26.81%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.45 EPS.

Several analysts have issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $26.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, March 26th. BidaskClub downgraded First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 19th. Four investment 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 presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $29.29.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FFBC. Norges Bank purchased a new position in First Financial Bancorp during the 4th quarter valued at about $28,757,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund purchased a new position in First Financial Bancorp during the 4th quarter valued at about $37,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 12.2% during the 3rd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 4,550,539 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $135,161,000 after acquiring an additional 495,073 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc grew its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 2.1% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 9,764,366 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $290,002,000 after acquiring an additional 197,490 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 2.1% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 9,764,366 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $290,002,000 after acquiring an additional 197,490 shares in the last quarter. 75.99% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

NASDAQ FFBC traded down $0.22 on Friday, hitting $24.75. 247,877 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 371,730. The company has a current ratio of 0.91, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69. The company has a market cap of $2.40 billion, a PE ratio of 10.86, a PEG ratio of 1.09 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 announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Monday, January 14th that authorizes the company to buyback 0 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the bank to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s management 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.

Recommended Story: How interest rates affect municipal bond prices

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.