Intesa Sanpaolo (OTCMKTS:ISNPY) and First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) are both finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, risk, profitability and dividends.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

0.6% of Intesa Sanpaolo shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 75.4% of First Financial Bancorp shares are held by institutional investors. 2.0% of First Financial Bancorp shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk and Volatility

Intesa Sanpaolo has a beta of 1.05, suggesting that its stock price is 5% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, First Financial Bancorp has a beta of 1.26, suggesting that its stock price is 26% more volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares Intesa Sanpaolo and First Financial Bancorp’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Intesa Sanpaolo N/A N/A N/A
First Financial Bancorp 28.03% 10.45% 1.56%


Intesa Sanpaolo pays an annual dividend of $0.96 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.8%. First Financial Bancorp pays an annual dividend of $0.92 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.6%. First Financial Bancorp pays out 40.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. First Financial Bancorp has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Intesa Sanpaolo and First Financial Bancorp’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Intesa Sanpaolo $19.06 billion 2.17 $8.27 billion N/A N/A
First Financial Bancorp $643.76 million 3.87 $172.60 million $2.28 11.09

Intesa Sanpaolo has higher revenue and earnings than First Financial Bancorp.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations for Intesa Sanpaolo and First Financial Bancorp, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Intesa Sanpaolo 2 1 0 0 1.33
First Financial Bancorp 1 3 1 0 2.00

First Financial Bancorp has a consensus price target of $29.00, indicating a potential upside of 14.72%. Given First Financial Bancorp’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe First Financial Bancorp is more favorable than Intesa Sanpaolo.


First Financial Bancorp beats Intesa Sanpaolo on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Intesa Sanpaolo Company Profile

Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. provides various banking products and services. It operates through Banca dei Territori, Corporate and Investment Banking, International Subsidiary Banks, Asset Management, Private Banking, and Insurance segments. The company offers lending and deposit products; corporate, investment banking, and public finance services; industrial credit, factoring, and leasing services; asset management solutions; life and non-life insurance products; and bancassurance and pension fund, and fiduciary services. It also provides consumer credit, e-money, and payment systems; wealth management and private banking services. The company serves individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, non-profit entities, corporates and financial institutions, private clients and high net worth individuals, commercial networks and institutional clienteles, and other customers. It operates through a network of approximately 4,200 branches in Italy and 1,100 branches in Central Eastern Europe, and the Middle Eastern and North African areas. The company is headquartered in Turin, Italy.

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. It also provides real estate loans secured by residential property or commercial property; commercial and industrial loans for various purposes, including inventory, receivables, and equipment; consumer loans comprising new and used vehicle loans, second mortgages on residential real estate, and unsecured loans; and home equity lines of credit. In addition, the company offers commercial financing to the insurance industry, registered investment advisors, certified public accountants, indirect auto finance companies, and restaurant franchisees. Further, it offers a range of trust and wealth management services; and long-term, lease, and equipment financing services. As of December 31, 2018, the company operated 67 banking centers in Ohio; 3 banking centers in Illinois; 73 banking centers in Indiana; and 16 banking centers in Kentucky. First Financial Bancorp. was founded in 1863 and is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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