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First Financial: 4Q Earnings Snapshot

CINCINNATI (AP) _ First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings of $55 million.

The bank, based in Cincinnati, said it had earnings of 56 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for costs related to mergers and acquisitions, were 61 cents per share.

The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 58 cents per share.

The holding company for First Financial Bank posted revenue of $182.9 million in the period. Its revenue net of interest expense was $155.5 million, which also topped Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $152.8 million.

For the year, the company reported profit of $172.6 million, or $1.93 per share. Revenue was reported as $552.6 million.

First Financial shares have climbed slightly more than 9 percent since the beginning of the year. In the final minutes of trading on Wednesday, shares hit $25.92, a drop of 11 percent in the last 12 months.

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This story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on FFBC at https://www.zacks.com/ap/FFBC