First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) Expected to Post Earnings of $0.40 Per Share

Wall Street analysts expect First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) to post $0.40 earnings per share for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Three analysts have made estimates for First Financial Bancorp’s earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.33 and the highest estimate coming in at $0.45. First Financial Bancorp reported earnings of $0.47 per share during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a negative year over year growth rate of 14.9%. The business is expected to issue its next earnings report on Thursday, April 23rd.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp will report full year earnings of $1.80 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.62 to $2.00. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect that the firm will report earnings of $1.65 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.54 to $1.76. Zacks’ earnings per share averages are an average based on a survey of research firms that that provide coverage for First Financial Bancorp.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, January 23rd. The bank reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.54 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $155.67 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $155.33 million. First Financial Bancorp had a return on equity of 9.56% and a net margin of 26.81%. First Financial Bancorp’s revenue for the quarter was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.61 EPS.

FFBC has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. ValuEngine raised shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, March 14th. TheStreet cut shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a research note on Monday, March 9th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 10th. Finally, BidaskClub cut shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Friday, March 6th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $27.75.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 12.4% during the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 6,252,191 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $159,062,000 after acquiring an additional 691,416 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new stake in First Financial Bancorp during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $30,842,000. CA Family Wealth LLC bought a new stake in First Financial Bancorp during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $206,000. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its position in First Financial Bancorp by 6.1% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,347,910 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $34,290,000 after purchasing an additional 77,529 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC lifted its position in First Financial Bancorp by 3.4% during the fourth quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 34,616 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $881,000 after purchasing an additional 1,146 shares during the last quarter. 79.27% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

NASDAQ:FFBC traded up $0.88 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $14.39. 822,183 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 453,654. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $19.95 and its 200 day moving average price is $23.41. The company has a market cap of $1.37 billion, a PE ratio of 7.20 and a beta of 1.25. First Financial Bancorp has a 12-month low of $11.82 and a 12-month high of $26.19. The company has a quick ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.70.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 16th. Investors of record on Monday, March 2nd were paid a dividend of $0.23 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 28th. This represents a $0.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 6.39%. First Financial Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 42.99%.

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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Earnings History and Estimates for First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC)

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