This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

10 Bank Dividends with Room to Rise

10. First Financial Bancorp

Shares of First Financial Bancorp (FFBC - Get Report) of Cincinnati closed at $16.43 Monday, down 7% from a year earlier. Based on a quarterly payout of 12 cents, the shares have a forward dividend yield of 2.92%.

The company had $6.3 billion in assets as of March 31, with 114 branches in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan, and a national lending operation. The company underwent a major expansion in 2009, with the purchase of three failed institutions from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

First Financial reported first-quarter net income of $17.2 million, or 29 cents a share, increasing from $11.6 million, or 17 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2010. The company's first-quarter net interest margin -- the difference between its average yields on loans and investments and its average cost of funds -- was 4.68% according to SNL Financial, which was the highest among the 10 banks listed here, although the margin declined from 4.84% a year earlier, as it was "continued to be negatively impacted by the combination of normal amortization and paydowns in the acquired loan portfolio," according to the company.

First Financial's first-quarter return on average assets (ROA) was 1.10%, according to SNL.

The year-over-year bottom-line improvement reflected a 62% increase in noninterest income, which included $23.4 million in income from FDIC loss-sharing agreements during the first quarter. Excluding that income and similar items, noninterest income increased 16% year-over-year, to $14.9 million during the first quarter.

On April 28, Ross Demmerle of Hilliard Lyons reiterated his neutral rating on the shares, saying that the company appeared "to have more than enough capital with a Tier 1 capital ratio of 20.5% and tangible common ratio of 10.4%.," which "could allow for another dividend increase, stock buybacks or acquisitions."

Demmerle said that "in light of an above average uncertain earnings stream" because of purchase accounting rules for loans acquired from the FDIC, and a price at a "premium price to book and price to earnings valuations," the shares were appropriately valued.

The shares trade for 13 times the consensus 2012 earnings estimate of $1.28 a share, among analysts polled by FactSet.

Out of eight analysts covering First Financial, two rate the shares a buy, while the remaining analysts all have neutral ratings.

2 of 11

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
BOH $60.26 0.00%
CBU $35.52 0.00%
CFR $67.80 0.00%
FFBC $17.43 0.00%
HCBK $9.76 0.00%


DOW 18,132.70 -81.72 -0.45%
S&P 500 2,104.50 -6.24 -0.30%
NASDAQ 4,963.5270 -24.3630 -0.49%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs