Brokerages Anticipate First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) to Post $0.37 EPS

Wall Street brokerages forecast that First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) will report $0.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Three analysts have made estimates for First Financial Bancorp’s earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $0.39 and the lowest estimate coming in at $0.36. First Financial Bancorp posted earnings of $0.36 per share in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 2.8%. The company is scheduled to report its next quarterly earnings results 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 financial year, analysts forecast that the firm will report earnings of $1.66 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.61 to $1.73. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that cover First Financial Bancorp.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 20th. The bank reported $0.39 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate 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 business earned $86.30 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $86.84 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.32 EPS.

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on FFBC shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, March 13th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and set a $27.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a research report on Monday, April 10th. Finally, DA Davidson started coverage on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a research report on Thursday, March 23rd. They set a “buy” rating and a $30.00 target price for the company. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $26.17.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) traded up 2.92% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $28.20. 407,599 shares of the company were exchanged. The company’s 50-day moving average is $27.16 and its 200 day moving average is $26.27. First Financial Bancorp has a 12-month low of $18.00 and a 12-month high of $29.80. The company has a market capitalization of $1.75 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.72 and a beta of 1.18.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of FFBC. Bank of Montreal Can increased its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 50.3% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 5,580 shares of the bank’s stock worth $153,000 after buying an additional 1,867 shares during the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue increased its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 1.9% in the first quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 6,840 shares of the bank’s stock worth $187,000 after buying an additional 130 shares during the last quarter. Miles Capital Inc. increased its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 7.0% in the fourth quarter. Miles Capital Inc. now owns 10,108 shares of the bank’s stock worth $288,000 after buying an additional 663 shares during the last quarter. Lincoln National Corp increased its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 0.9% in the third quarter. Lincoln National Corp now owns 10,354 shares of the bank’s stock worth $226,000 after buying an additional 89 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Barings LLC purchased a new stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp during the fourth quarter worth about $296,000. 73.20% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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First Financial Bancorp Company Profile

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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