Notable Mover: Does First Financial Bancorp Have More Gas After Touching 52-Week High?

Notable Mover: Does First Financial Bancorp Have More Gas After Touching 52 Week High?

The stock of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) hit a new 52-week high and has $29.21 target or 8.00% above today’s $27.05 share price. The 6 months bullish chart indicates low risk for the $1.68B company. The 1-year high was reported on Nov, 28 by Barchart.com. If the $29.21 price target is reached, the company will be worth $134.40M more.
The 52-week high event is an important milestone for every stock because it shows very positive momentum and is time when buyers come in. During such notable technical setup, fundamental investors usually stay away and are careful shorting or selling the stock. About 161,125 shares traded hands. First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) has risen 37.42% since April 25, 2016 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 31.40% the S&P500.

Analysts await First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) to report earnings on January, 19. They expect $0.36 EPS, up 12.50% or $0.04 from last year’s $0.32 per share. FFBC’s profit will be $22.36M for 18.78 P/E if the $0.36 EPS becomes a reality. After $0.37 actual EPS reported by First Financial Bancorp for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts -2.70% negative EPS growth.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) Ratings Coverage

Out of 9 analysts covering First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC), 2 rate it a “Buy”, 1 “Sell”, while 6 “Hold”. This means 22% are positive. First Financial Bancorp has been the topic of 12 analyst reports since August 4, 2015 according to StockzIntelligence Inc. The firm earned “Neutral” rating on Thursday, October 6 by PiperJaffray. On Monday, October 26 the stock rating was maintained by Barclays Capital with “Underweight”. The rating was upgraded by Keefe Bruyette & Woods to “Outperform” on Monday, January 25. The firm has “Buy” rating given on Tuesday, January 26 by Sandler O’Neill. The rating was upgraded by FIG Partners on Friday, January 22 to “Outperform”. The firm has “Hold” rating by Sandler O’Neill given on Thursday, March 10. Piper Jaffray initiated First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) rating on Thursday, October 6. Piper Jaffray has “Neutral” rating and $23 price target. RBC Capital Markets maintained First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) rating on Monday, January 25. RBC Capital Markets has “Sector Perform” rating and $18 price target.

According to Zacks Investment Research, “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.”

Insitutional Activity: The institutional sentiment increased to 1.29 in 2016 Q2. Its up 0.10, from 1.19 in 2016Q1. The ratio improved, as 10 funds sold all First Financial Bancorp shares owned while 47 reduced positions. 7 funds bought stakes while 61 increased positions. They now own 44.75 million shares or 1.82% less from 45.58 million shares in 2016Q1.
Sei Invests Com, a Pennsylvania-based fund reported 172 shares. Vanguard Gru has 0.01% invested in the company for 4.95 million shares. The Ohio-based Osborn Rohs Williams Donohoe Ltd has invested 0.13% in First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC). Mcf Advisors Limited Liability Co last reported 0% of its portfolio in the stock. Capital One Association has invested 0.04% of its portfolio in First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC). Victory Cap Mgmt has 1.81M shares for 0.14% of their US portfolio. The Illinois-based Chicago Equity Prtnrs has invested 0.04% in First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC). Capstone Asset Mgmt holds 15,799 shares or 0.01% of its portfolio. Summit Limited Company accumulated 0.1% or 10,048 shares. Finemark Bankshares And last reported 0.02% of its portfolio in the stock. California Pub Employees Retirement Systems has invested 0% of its portfolio in First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC). Manufacturers Life Ins Co The has invested 0.03% of its portfolio in First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC). Aristotle Boston Limited Liability Com last reported 0.93% of its portfolio in the stock. The New Jersey-based Bessemer Group Incorporated has invested 0% in First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC). Bnp Paribas Arbitrage Sa accumulated 0% or 19,733 shares.

Insider Transactions: Since July 18, 2016, the stock had 24 insider purchases, and 9 insider sales for $1.68 million net activity. 250 shares were bought by FINNERTY CORINNE R, worth $5,338. Kuhl Shannon M had sold 1,100 shares worth $23,564. Rahe Maribeth S bought $7,914 worth of stock. The insider kramer william j bought 131 shares worth $2,665. 332 First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) shares with value of $6,754 were bought by Meyer Jeffrey D. 79 shares were bought by Geier Peter E, worth $1,607. $44,142 worth of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) was sold by Foster Holly M on Friday, August 5.

More recent First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) news were published by: Prnewswire.com which released: “First Financial Bancorp. Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend” on October 25, 2016. Also Nasdaq.com published the news titled: “First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) Passes Through 3% Yield Mark” on October 27, 2016. Seekingalpha.com‘s news article titled: “First Financial Bancorp: Small Is Beautiful” with publication date: October 24, 2016 was also an interesting one.

FFBC Company Profile

First Financial Bancorp. (First Financial), incorporated on August 2, 1982, 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 includes commercial lending, real estate lending and consumer financing. In addition, First Financial offers deposit products that include interest-bearing and non-interest-bearing accounts, time deposits, and cash management services for commercial customers. First Financial’s Wealth Management division provides a range of trust and asset management services. The Firm operates approximately 110 banking centers. The Company’s operating markets are located within the three state regions of Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. First Financial operates over 60 banking centers in Ohio, approximately 40 banking centers in Indiana and over four banking centers in Kentucky. In addition, it operates its franchise lending business and its insurance lending business from non-banking center locations in New Jersey and Indiana.

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