Walthausen & Co. LLC Sells 132,150 Shares of First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC)

Walthausen & Co. LLC reduced its stake in First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) by 50.3% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 130,384 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 132,150 shares during the quarter. Walthausen & Co. LLC owned 0.13% of First Financial Bancorp worth $3,317,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Independence Bank of Kentucky increased its stake in First Financial Bancorp by 34.7% in the 4th quarter. Independence Bank of Kentucky now owns 2,693 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $69,000 after buying an additional 693 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in First Financial Bancorp in the 4th quarter valued at about $132,000. Horizon Bancorp Inc. IN acquired a new position in First Financial Bancorp in the 4th quarter valued at about $138,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC acquired a new position in First Financial Bancorp in the 4th quarter valued at about $143,000. Finally, Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. acquired a new position in First Financial Bancorp in the 4th quarter valued at about $311,000. 79.27% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of analysts have issued reports on FFBC shares. BidaskClub downgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Friday, March 6th. TheStreet downgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a report on Monday, March 9th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 10th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of First Financial Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, March 14th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $27.75.

Shares of First Financial Bancorp stock traded up $0.88 on Thursday, reaching $14.39. 842,500 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 453,654. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $20.17 and its 200-day moving average is $23.46. First Financial Bancorp has a one year low of $11.82 and a one year high of $26.19. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.70, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a current ratio of 0.95. The firm has a market cap of $1.37 billion, a PE ratio of 7.20 and a beta of 1.25.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 23rd. The bank reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.54 by ($0.02). First Financial Bancorp had a return on equity of 9.56% and a net margin of 26.81%. The firm had revenue of $155.67 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $155.33 million. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.61 EPS. The business’s revenue was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that First Financial Bancorp will post 1.8 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 16th. Investors of record on Monday, March 2nd were given a dividend of $0.23 per share. This represents a $0.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.39%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 28th. First Financial Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is 42.99%.

First Financial Bancorp 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.

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

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