First Financial Bank (FFBC) Holdings Reduced by Macquarie Group Ltd.

Macquarie Group Ltd. cut its holdings in First Financial Bank (NASDAQ:FFBC) by 0.2% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 2,764,741 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 5,841 shares during the quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. owned approximately 4.45% of First Financial Bank worth $72,851,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other large investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new position in shares of First Financial Bank during the third quarter worth about $125,000. Trustcore Financial Services LLC bought a new stake in First Financial Bank in the fourth quarter worth approximately $146,000. FDx Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in First Financial Bank in the third quarter worth approximately $205,000. Bedel Financial Consulting Inc. bought a new stake in First Financial Bank in the fourth quarter worth approximately $249,000. Finally, Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. bought a new stake in First Financial Bank in the third quarter worth approximately $250,000. 80.13% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Several equities research analysts have recently commented on the company. BidaskClub downgraded First Financial Bank from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 30th. Hilliard Lyons raised First Financial Bank from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, January 22nd. ValuEngine raised First Financial Bank from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 29th. FIG Partners raised First Financial Bank from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $31.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Friday, February 9th. Finally, Barclays upped their price target on First Financial Bank from $27.00 to $30.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $29.89.

FFBC stock traded down $1.00 during trading on Friday, hitting $28.15. 653,276 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 898,555. First Financial Bank has a 1 year low of $22.80 and a 1 year high of $29.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 0.92 and a quick ratio of 0.91. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,770.38, a PE ratio of 17.48, a P/E/G ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 1.10.

First Financial Bank (NASDAQ:FFBC) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, January 18th. The bank reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $94.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $90.05 million. First Financial Bank had a return on equity of 11.51% and a net margin of 26.11%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.38 EPS. analysts anticipate that First Financial Bank will post 2.1 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 1st were issued a $0.19 dividend. This is a positive change from First Financial Bank’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.17. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 28th. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.70%. First Financial Bank’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 47.20%.

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About First Financial Bank

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.

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

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