Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY boosted its holdings in First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) by 344.1% during the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 29,978 shares of the bank’s stock after acquiring an additional 23,227 shares during the quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY’s holdings in First Financial Bancorp were worth $711,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the stock. Bessemer Group Inc. increased its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 598.7% during the 4th quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 1,076 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $26,000 after purchasing an additional 922 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund acquired a new position in shares of First Financial Bancorp during the 4th quarter valued at $37,000. Eukles Asset Management acquired a new position in shares of First Financial Bancorp during the 4th quarter valued at $49,000. Strs Ohio increased its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 15.7% during the 4th quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 5,900 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $139,000 after purchasing an additional 800 shares during the period. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its position in shares of First Financial Bancorp by 14.3% during the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 7,078 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $168,000 after purchasing an additional 888 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.01% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $26.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, March 26th. BidaskClub upgraded First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, January 17th. ValuEngine cut First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. Stephens restated a “buy” rating and issued a $30.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a report on Wednesday, December 19th. Finally, Barclays restated a “sell” rating and issued a $26.00 target price on shares of First Financial Bancorp in a report on Friday, January 11th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. First Financial Bancorp currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $29.29.
First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, January 23rd. The bank reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $155.46 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $152.75 million. First Financial Bancorp had a return on equity of 11.63% and a net margin of 26.81%. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.45 earnings per share. As a group, analysts predict that First Financial Bancorp will post 2.31 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 1st were given a $0.22 dividend. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.57%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 28th. This is a boost from First Financial Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. First Financial Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 38.60%.
First Financial Bancorp announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Monday, January 14th that allows the company to repurchase 0 shares. This repurchase authorization allows the bank to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
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.
Read More: Portfolio Manager
Want to see what other hedge funds are holding FFBC? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC).
Receive News & Ratings for First Financial Bancorp Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for First Financial Bancorp and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.