First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) Sees Large Drop in Short Interest

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBCGet Free Report) saw a large decline in short interest in the month of May. As of May 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,190,000 shares, a decline of 9.2% from the May 15th total of 1,310,000 shares. Approximately 1.3% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 320,100 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 3.7 days.

First Financial Bancorp. Stock Up 0.1 %

NASDAQ FFBC traded up $0.02 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $21.18. 232,118 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 337,731. The business has a fifty day simple moving average of $22.22 and a 200 day simple moving average of $22.39. The company has a current ratio of 0.92, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46. First Financial Bancorp. has a 12 month low of $17.23 and a 12 month high of $24.99. The company has a market capitalization of $2.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.54 and a beta of 1.02.

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBCGet Free Report) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, April 26th. The bank reported $0.59 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.59. First Financial Bancorp. had a return on equity of 11.22% and a net margin of 20.74%. The company had revenue of $287.20 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $201.79 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.76 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that First Financial Bancorp. will post 2.42 EPS for the current year.

First Financial Bancorp. Dividend Announcement

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 3rd were given a $0.23 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, June 3rd. This represents a $0.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.34%. First Financial Bancorp.’s dividend payout ratio is 37.10%.

Analyst Ratings Changes

A number of analysts have recently weighed in on FFBC shares. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “sector perform” rating and issued a $24.00 price target on shares of First Financial Bancorp. in a research note on Tuesday, April 9th. Piper Sandler began coverage on First Financial Bancorp. in a research note on Friday, February 23rd. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $26.00 price objective on the stock.

Check Out Our Latest Stock Report on First Financial Bancorp.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In related news, insider Richard S. Dennen sold 10,500 shares of First Financial Bancorp. stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.64, for a total transaction of $248,220.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 93,152 shares in the company, valued at $2,202,113.28. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 2.04% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in FFBC. EntryPoint Capital LLC increased its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 63.9% during the first quarter. EntryPoint Capital LLC now owns 1,732 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $39,000 after acquiring an additional 675 shares during the period. Bogart Wealth LLC raised its stake in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 93.9% in the first quarter. Bogart Wealth LLC now owns 2,065 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $46,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. Blue Trust Inc. boosted its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 23.3% during the fourth quarter. Blue Trust Inc. now owns 2,993 shares of the bank’s stock worth $71,000 after buying an additional 566 shares in the last quarter. TFO Wealth Partners LLC lifted its holdings in shares of First Financial Bancorp. by 6,820.5% during the 4th quarter. TFO Wealth Partners LLC now owns 3,045 shares of the bank’s stock worth $72,000 after acquiring an additional 3,001 shares during the period. Finally, Planned Solutions Inc. bought a new position in shares of First Financial Bancorp. during the 4th quarter worth about $101,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.23% of the company’s stock.

First Financial Bancorp. Company Profile

(Get Free Report)

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 offers checking, savings, and money-market accounts; and accepts various deposit products, such as interest-bearing and non-interest-bearing accounts, time deposits, and cash management services for commercial customers.

Further Reading

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