BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA Boosts Position in First Financial Bancorp. (FFBC)

BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its holdings in First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) by 52.9% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 19,271 shares of the bank’s stock after purchasing an additional 6,665 shares during the quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA’s holdings in First Financial Bancorp. were worth $534,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the stock. Legal & General Group Plc grew its position in First Financial Bancorp. by 12.7% in the 2nd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 123,816 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,430,000 after purchasing an additional 13,953 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in First Financial Bancorp. by 1.9% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,242,617 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $34,420,000 after purchasing an additional 23,538 shares during the period. Alps Advisors Inc. grew its position in First Financial Bancorp. by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 17,163 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $475,000 after purchasing an additional 45 shares during the period. Rhumbline Advisers grew its position in First Financial Bancorp. by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 129,811 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,596,000 after purchasing an additional 377 shares during the period. Finally, Arizona State Retirement System grew its position in First Financial Bancorp. by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 32,371 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $897,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares during the period. 74.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) opened at 24.75 on Thursday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $24.73 and its 200-day moving average is $26.57. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.54 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.39 and a beta of 1.19. First Financial Bancorp. has a 12-month low of $20.55 and a 12-month high of $29.80.

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.38 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $85.97 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $89.52 million. First Financial Bancorp. had a return on equity of 10.65% and a net margin of 24.28%. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.36 EPS. Analysts predict that First Financial Bancorp. will post $1.52 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 1st will be issued a $0.17 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.75%. First Financial Bancorp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 45.03%.

In other First Financial Bancorp. news, insider C Douglas Lefferson sold 40,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.69, for a total value of $1,027,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 74,170 shares in the company, valued at $1,905,427.30. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. In the last quarter, insiders acquired 797 shares of company stock valued at $20,099. 1.88% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

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Several research firms recently issued reports on FFBC. ValuEngine downgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $29.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, May 30th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Sandler O’Neill raised shares of First Financial Bancorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $28.00 to $29.00 in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Stephens raised shares of First Financial Bancorp. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $31.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. First Financial Bancorp. currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $28.50.

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

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