Brokerages predict that First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) will announce $0.57 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Four analysts have issued estimates for First Financial Bancorp’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $0.56 to $0.58. First Financial Bancorp also reported earnings of $0.57 per share during the same quarter last year. The company is expected to issue its next earnings results on Thursday, July 18th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp will report full year earnings of $2.19 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.12 to $2.32. For the next year, analysts expect that the firm will post earnings of $2.29 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.23 to $2.37. Zacks’ EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of analysts that cover First Financial Bancorp.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The bank reported $0.47 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.47. First Financial Bancorp had a net margin of 26.28% and a return on equity of 10.60%. The firm had revenue of $148.34 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $150.53 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.49 EPS.

Several equities research analysts have commented on FFBC shares. BidaskClub raised shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 17th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, January 21st. ValuEngine raised shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, February 4th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods cut shares of First Financial Bancorp from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and dropped their target price for the company from $31.00 to $30.00 in a report on Sunday, February 24th. Finally, Stephens cut shares of First Financial Bancorp from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. Three 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’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $28.67.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of FFBC. Norges Bank acquired a new position in First Financial Bancorp in the 4th quarter valued at about $28,757,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund acquired a new position in First Financial Bancorp in the 4th quarter valued at about $37,000. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 5.4% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 14,311,731 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $344,339,000 after buying an additional 735,295 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 5.8% in the 4th quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 4,813,892 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $114,193,000 after buying an additional 263,353 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 2.1% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 9,764,366 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $290,002,000 after buying an additional 197,490 shares during the last quarter. 75.71% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

NASDAQ:FFBC traded up $0.50 on Tuesday, hitting $24.36. 227,599 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 361,151. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.70, a current ratio of 0.92 and a quick ratio of 1.24. First Financial Bancorp has a 52 week low of $22.27 and a 52 week high of $33.70. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.35 billion, a PE ratio of 10.68, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.13 and a beta of 1.22.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 17th. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 3rd will be issued a $0.22 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 31st. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.61%. First Financial Bancorp’s payout ratio is 38.60%.

First Financial Bancorp announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Monday, January 14th that permits the company to repurchase 0 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the bank to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board 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.

See Also: Price to Earnings Ratio (PE), For Valuing Stocks

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

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