Analysts forecast that First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) will report $0.37 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Three analysts have issued estimates for First Financial Bancorp’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $0.39 and the lowest is $0.36. First Financial Bancorp posted earnings per share of $0.36 in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year-over-year growth rate of 2.8%. The business is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings report on Thursday, July 20th.

On average, analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp will report full year earnings of $1.52 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.48 to $1.57. For the next year, analysts expect that the firm will post earnings of $1.66 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.61 to $1.73. Zacks’ EPS averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that that provide coverage for First Financial Bancorp.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 20th. The bank reported $0.39 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.35 by $0.04. First Financial Bancorp had a net margin of 23.57% and a return on equity of 10.42%. The firm earned $86.30 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $86.84 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.32 earnings per share.

A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $32.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, January 3rd. DA Davidson initiated coverage on First Financial Bancorp in a research report on Thursday, March 23rd. They set a “buy” rating and a $30.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $27.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a research report on Monday, April 10th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $26.17.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 8.3% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 4,384,049 shares of the bank’s stock worth $95,748,000 after buying an additional 337,717 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 3.6% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,026,362 shares of the bank’s stock worth $86,099,000 after buying an additional 103,860 shares during the last quarter. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. raised its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 7.5% in the third quarter. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. now owns 2,812,725 shares of the bank’s stock worth $61,430,000 after buying an additional 196,525 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp raised its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 1.1% in the third quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,910,484 shares of the bank’s stock worth $41,725,000 after buying an additional 21,623 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp raised its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 19.4% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,691,898 shares of the bank’s stock worth $48,138,000 after buying an additional 274,415 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.20% of the company’s stock.

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Shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) traded up 2.92% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $28.20. 407,599 shares of the company traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.72 and a beta of 1.18. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $27.16 and a 200 day moving average price of $26.27. First Financial Bancorp has a 52 week low of $18.00 and a 52 week high of $29.80.

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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