First Financial Bank (FFBC) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

First Financial Bank (NASDAQ:FFBC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday. The firm currently has a $35.00 price target on the bank’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 11.11% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “First Financial Bancorp., is a financial holding company that engages in the business of commercial banking, and other permissible activities that are financial in nature, through seventeen wholly owned subsidiary institutions. Bancorp provides management and similar services for its subsidiary financial institutions. Bancorp must depend largely upon its seventeen subsidiaries for funds with which to pay the expenses of its operation and, to the extent applicable, any dividends on its outstanding shares of stock. “

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on FFBC. Piper Jaffray reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of First Financial Bank in a report on Monday. Barclays raised their price target on First Financial Bank from $30.00 to $32.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Monday. Hilliard Lyons cut First Financial Bank from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $33.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday. Sandler O’Neill reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $34.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bank in a report on Friday, April 20th. Finally, BidaskClub raised First Financial Bank from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 7th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $31.50.

NASDAQ:FFBC opened at $31.50 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.91, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. The stock has a market cap of $1,965.33, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.56, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.45 and a beta of 1.10. First Financial Bank has a 52 week low of $22.80 and a 52 week high of $31.85.

First Financial Bank (NASDAQ:FFBC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 19th. The bank reported $0.52 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.47 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $92.75 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $93.03 million. First Financial Bank had a return on equity of 12.18% and a net margin of 26.91%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned ($0.17) earnings per share. analysts predict that First Financial Bank will post 2.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new stake in shares of First Financial Bank in the third quarter worth about $125,000. Trustcore Financial Services LLC bought a new stake in shares of First Financial Bank in the fourth quarter worth about $146,000. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB bought a new stake in First Financial Bank during the fourth quarter worth approximately $237,000. Bedel Financial Consulting Inc. bought a new stake in First Financial Bank during the fourth quarter worth approximately $249,000. Finally, Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC bought a new stake in First Financial Bank during the third quarter worth approximately $269,000. 79.10% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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First Financial Bank Company Profile

First Financial Bancorp. operates as the bank holding company for First Financial Bank that provides commercial banking and other banking, and banking-related services to individuals and businesses in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. 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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