NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- The ex-dividend date for

First Financial Bancorp

(Nasdaq:

FFBC

) is tomorrow, February 29, 2012. Owners of shares as of market close today will be eligible for a dividend of 31 cents per share. At a price of $16.92 as of 9:30 a.m. ET, the dividend yield is 2.9%.

The average volume for First Financial has been 215,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. First Financial has a market cap of $1.04 billion and is part of the

financial

sector and

banking

industry. Shares are up 1.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

First Financial Bancorp. operates as the holding company for First Financial Bank, National Association that provides commercial banking, and other banking and banking-related services. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.7, below the average banking industry P/E ratio of 16.6 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

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TheStreet Ratings rates First Financial as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity, increase in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value. You can view the full

First Financial Ratings Report

.

See our

dividend calendar

or

top-yielding stocks list

.

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