3 Reasons to Invest in First Financial (FFBC) Stock Right Now

It seems to be a wise idea to add First Financial Bancorp. FFBC stock to your portfolio now. Supported by strong fundamentals, the company is well-poised for growth.

Analysts seem optimistic regarding FFBC’s earnings growth potential. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for First Financial’s current-year earnings has been revised 5.2% upward over the past 30 days. Thus, currently, FFBC carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Additionally, First Financial’s shares have rallied 10% over the past six months compared with 14.9% growth of the industry.

 

Zacks Investment Research
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

 

A few other factors that make FFBC stock an attractive investment option now are mentioned below.

Revenue Growth: First Financial’s revenues witnessed a compound annual growth rate of 8.7% over the last five years (2018-2023). In the first quarter of 2024, the company’s revenues saw a year-over-year decline because of a significant rise in deposit expenses. While revenues are projected to decline 4.1% in 2024, the metric will likely rise 2.9% in 2025.

Earnings Strength: FFBC witnessed earnings growth of 8.3% in the last three to five years. While earnings are projected to decline 12.6% in 2024, the trend will reverse after that. In 2025, the company’s earnings are projected to grow marginally.

Favorable Valuation: With respect to its price/earnings (P/E) and price/book (P/B) ratios, the stock seems undervalued right now. Its P/E (F1) ratio is 9.32, lower than the industry average of 10.05. Similarly, its P/B ratio of 0.94 compares favorably with the industry’s 0.99.

Moreover, FFBC currently has a Value Score of B. The Value Score condenses all valuation metrics into one actionable score that helps investors steer clear of “value traps” and identify stocks that are truly trading at a discount. Our research shows that stocks with a Style Score of A or B, when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2, offer the best upside potential.

Other Stocks to Consider

A couple of other top-ranked stocks from the finance space are T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. TROW and Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc. APAM.

Earnings estimates for TROW have been revised 13.5% upward for the current year over the past 60 days. The company’s share price has increased 19.2% over the past six months. TROW currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Artisan Partners presently carries a Zacks Rank #2. Its earnings estimates have been revised upward by 3% for the current year over the past 60 days. In the last six months, APAM’s share price increased 20.6%.

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Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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