Texas Permanent School Fund increased its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) by 4.3% during the 1st quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 66,805 shares of the bank’s stock after buying an additional 2,735 shares during the quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund’s holdings in First Financial Bancorp were worth $1,607,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in FFBC. Bessemer Group Inc. increased its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 598.7% during the 4th quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 1,076 shares of the bank’s stock worth $26,000 after buying an additional 922 shares in the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund acquired a new stake in First Financial Bancorp during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $37,000. Eukles Asset Management acquired a new stake in First Financial Bancorp during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $49,000. Versant Capital Management Inc increased its position in First Financial Bancorp by 118.3% during the 1st quarter. Versant Capital Management Inc now owns 2,240 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $53,000 after purchasing an additional 1,214 shares during the period. Finally, Investors Research Corp acquired a new stake in First Financial Bancorp during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $96,000. 75.28% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of FFBC traded down $0.51 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $23.35. The stock had a trading volume of 2,051 shares, compared to its average volume of 319,998. First Financial Bancorp has a 12 month low of $22.27 and a 12 month high of $33.70. The company has a quick ratio of 0.91, a current ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.70. The stock has a market cap of $2.39 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.23, a P/E/G ratio of 1.12 and a beta of 1.22.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The bank reported $0.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.47. First Financial Bancorp had a return on equity of 10.60% and a net margin of 26.28%. The company had revenue of $148.34 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $150.53 million. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.49 EPS. On average, analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp will post 2.16 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 17th. Investors of record on Monday, June 3rd will be issued a $0.22 dividend. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.77%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 31st. First Financial Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 38.60%.

A number of analysts have weighed in on FFBC shares. BidaskClub downgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 19th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 30th. ValuEngine upgraded First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, February 4th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods cut First Financial Bancorp from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and cut their price target for the stock from $31.00 to $30.00 in a report on Sunday, February 24th. Finally, Stephens cut First Financial Bancorp from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $28.40.

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First Financial Bancorp Company Profile

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC)

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