First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) close to 52-week high, short interest down

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) (TREND ANALYSIS) shares were traded with a doubled volume. The stock closed last trading session at $18.49, down by -0.32%, with a volume of 478,864 shares against an average volume for the last 3 months of 172,808.

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First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) stock is currently trading 2.89% below its 52-week-high, 23.27% above its 52-week-low. The 1-year stock price history is in the range of $15 – $19.04. First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) has a price to earnings ratio of 16.51 versus Financial sector average of 17.87. FFBC stock price has underperformed the Nasdaq by 4.8%. The Financial Services company is currently valued at $1.14 billion and its share price closed the last trading session at $18.49. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $17.65 and a 200-day moving average of $17.58.

First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) current short interest stands at 1.73 million shares. It has decreased by 3% from the same period of last month. Around 5% of the company’s shares, which are float, are short sold. With a 10-days average volume of 0.3 million shares, the number of days required to cover the short positions stand at 5.7 days.

The company is expected to announce next quarter earnings on July 23, at consensus estimate of $0.29. First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) reported last quarter earnings on April 30. The Financial Services company announced earnings per share of $0.29 against a consensus Street estimate of $0.28, beating the average estimate by $0.01. This corresponds to a flat EPS compared to the same quarter of the previous fiscal year.

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There are currently eight analysts that cover First Financial Bancorp stock. Of those eight, one has a Buy rating, six have a Hold rating and one has a Sell rating. On a consensus basis this yields to a Hold rating. The consensus target price stands at $17.88.

A recent analyst activity consisted of Barclays reiterating their Underweight stance on June 16. Barclays increased their price target on FFBC from $16 to $18. This corresponds to a 2.65% downside from the last closing price. On the date of report, the stock closed at $18.14.

From an income perspective, First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) has a dividend yield of 2.33%. The dividend growth rate has evolved at the pace of -0.6% over the last 5 years and the payout ratio stands at 55%.

Company profile

First Financial Bancorp. is a financial holding company. The subsidiaries provide commercial lending, real estate lending, consumer credit, credit card, and other personal loan financing. First Financial operates through a network of offices in western Ohio, Indiana, southern Michigan, and northern Kentucky.

First Financial Bancorp (NASDAQ:FFBC) close to 52-week high, short interest down was last modified: June 28th, 2015 by Eric Hanson