Vince Berta Buys 2,000 Shares of First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBC) Stock

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBCGet Rating) Director Vince Berta acquired 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, April 26th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $20.99 per share, for a total transaction of $41,980.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 27,494 shares in the company, valued at $577,099.06. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website.

NASDAQ:FFBC opened at $20.60 on Thursday. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $23.29 and its 200 day moving average is $24.24. First Financial Bancorp. has a fifty-two week low of $20.52 and a fifty-two week high of $26.83. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.95 billion, a PE ratio of 9.86 and a beta of 1.04. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a current ratio of 0.79.

First Financial Bancorp. (NASDAQ:FFBCGet Rating) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 21st. The bank reported $0.46 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.01. First Financial Bancorp. had a return on equity of 9.51% and a net margin of 30.78%. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.50 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that First Financial Bancorp. will post 1.95 EPS for the current year.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FFBC. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in First Financial Bancorp. in the fourth quarter worth $24,443,000. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 143.8% in the fourth quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 932,110 shares of the bank’s stock worth $22,725,000 after purchasing an additional 549,759 shares during the period. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH increased its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 35.1% in the fourth quarter. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH now owns 1,542,866 shares of the bank’s stock worth $37,615,000 after purchasing an additional 400,962 shares during the period. Invesco Ltd. increased its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 38.1% in the fourth quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 504,952 shares of the bank’s stock worth $12,310,000 after purchasing an additional 139,200 shares during the period. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC increased its stake in First Financial Bancorp. by 8.3% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,671,010 shares of the bank’s stock worth $40,739,000 after purchasing an additional 127,915 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.64% of the company’s stock.

Several research firms recently weighed in on FFBC. StockNews.com began coverage on First Financial Bancorp. in a report on Thursday, March 31st. They set a “hold” rating on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered First Financial Bancorp. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 8th.

About First Financial Bancorp. (Get Rating)

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.

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