$0.46 Earnings Per Share Expected for First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) This Quarter

Equities research analysts forecast that First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) will post earnings of $0.46 per share for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Three analysts have provided estimates for First Financial Bancorp’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $0.45 to $0.48. First Financial Bancorp reported earnings per share of $0.39 in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 17.9%. The company is scheduled to issue its next earnings report on Thursday, April 19th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp will report full year earnings of $2.11 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.04 to $2.16. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the firm will report earnings of $2.31 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.20 to $2.45. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS averages are an average based on a survey of analysts that cover First Financial Bancorp.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, January 18th. The bank reported $0.45 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $94.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $90.05 million. First Financial Bancorp had a return on equity of 11.51% and a net margin of 26.11%. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.38 EPS.

Several equities research analysts recently commented on the company. BidaskClub downgraded First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 30th. Hilliard Lyons upgraded First Financial Bancorp from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, January 22nd. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $28.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a report on Friday, October 20th. FIG Partners upgraded First Financial Bancorp from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $31.00 target price on the stock in a report on Friday, February 9th. Finally, Barclays raised their target price on First Financial Bancorp from $27.00 to $30.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $29.90.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in First Financial Bancorp by 2.8% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 8,036,293 shares of the bank’s stock worth $211,755,000 after purchasing an additional 219,964 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in First Financial Bancorp by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,714,986 shares of the bank’s stock worth $158,306,000 after purchasing an additional 43,459 shares during the last quarter. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. increased its holdings in First Financial Bancorp by 2.9% during the 3rd quarter. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. now owns 3,177,150 shares of the bank’s stock worth $83,082,000 after purchasing an additional 90,575 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in First Financial Bancorp by 1.0% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,144,757 shares of the bank’s stock worth $82,236,000 after purchasing an additional 30,068 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its holdings in First Financial Bancorp by 8.9% during the 3rd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 2,770,582 shares of the bank’s stock worth $72,451,000 after purchasing an additional 226,144 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 77.72% of the company’s stock.

Shares of First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) traded up $0.30 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $28.85. The company had a trading volume of 232,543 shares, compared to its average volume of 356,687. The stock has a market cap of $1,771.81, a P/E ratio of 18.03, a P/E/G ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 1.19. The company has a current ratio of 0.92, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93. First Financial Bancorp has a 1-year low of $22.80 and a 1-year high of $29.50.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.19 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 28th. This is an increase from First Financial Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.17. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.63%. First Financial Bancorp’s payout ratio is currently 42.50%.

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About First Financial Bancorp

First Financial Bancorp. (First Financial) is a regional bank holding company. First Financial is engaged in the business of commercial banking and other banking and banking-related activities through its subsidiary, First Financial Bank, National Association (the Bank). The range of banking services provided by First Financial to individuals and businesses include commercial lending, real estate lending and consumer financing.

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