First Financial Bancorp Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2012 Financial Results

 First Financial Bancorp Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2012 Financial
                                   Results

PR Newswire

CINCINNATI, Jan. 29, 2013

CINCINNATI, Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --First Financial Bancorp (Nasdaq:
FFBC) ("First Financial" or the "Company") announced today financial and
operational results for the fourth quarter 2012 and for the twelve month
period ended December 31, 2012.

Fourth quarter 2012 net income was $16.3 million and earnings per diluted
common share were $0.28. This compares with third quarter 2012 net income of
$16.2 million and earnings per diluted common share of $0.28 and fourth
quarter 2011 net income of $17.9 million and earnings per diluted common share
of $0.31.

For the twelve month period ended December 31, 2012, net income was $67.3
million and earnings per diluted common share were $1.14 as compared to net
income of $66.7 million and earnings per diluted common share of $1.14 for the
twelve month period ended December 31, 2011.

The board of directors has authorized a regular dividend of $0.15 per common
share and a variable dividend of $0.13 per common share for the next regularly
scheduled dividend, payable on April 1, 2013 to shareholders of record as of
March 1, 2013. This is a continuation of the 100% dividend payout ratio first
announced in the second quarter 2011 and is expected to continue through 2013
unless the Company's capital position materially changes or capital deployment
opportunities arise.

Under the announced share repurchase plan, the Company repurchased 460,500
shares during the fourth quarter at an average price of $14.78 per share.
When combined with the regular and variable dividends paid to shareholders,
First Financial returned 110.8% of 2012 full year net income to shareholders
during the year. Additionally, the Company has repurchased 84,000 shares
during the first quarter 2013 at an average price of $14.83 per share.

  o89^th consecutive quarter of profitability
  oQuarterly adjusted pre-tax, pre-provision income of $28.6 million, an
    increase of $4.2 million, or 17.1%, compared to the linked quarter
  oContinued solid performance

       oQuarterly return on average assets of 1.03%; full year return on
         average assets of 1.07%
       oQuarterly return on average risk-weighted assets of 1.68%; full year
         return on average risk-weighted assets of 1.78%
       oQuarterly return on average shareholders' equity of 9.06%; full year
         return on average shareholders' equity of 9.43%

  oCapital ratios remain strong

       oTangible common equity to tangible assets of 9.50%
       oTier 1 capital ratio of 16.32%
       oTotal risk-based capital ratio of 17.60%

  oQuarterly net interest margin increased to 4.27% from 4.21% for the linked
    quarter

       oResults included a $2.2 million prepayment fee; excluding this item
         net interest margin was 4.11% for the quarter
       oAdjusted yield on the uncovered portfolio increased 3 bps during the
         quarter to 4.73%
       oCost of interest-bearing deposits declined 8 bps during the quarter
         to 0.49%

  oTotal uncovered loan portfolio growth of 14.7% on an annualized basis

       oStrong growth in C&I, commercial real estate, specialty finance and
         residential mortgage balances
       oUncovered loan growth exceeded covered loan decline by $35.6 million

  oSignificant core deposit growth during the fourth quarter

       oNon-time deposits increased 15.1% on an annualized basis
       oGrowth driven by the commercial and retail lines of business

  oTotal classified assets declined $4.3 million, or 3.3%, compared to the
    linked quarter and $33.3 million, or 20.5%, compared to December 31, 2011

Implementation of the efficiency plan announced in the third quarter continues
as previously disclosed with regard to estimated annualized cost savings and
timing. During the fourth quarter, the Company announced that it will be
consolidating 10 banking centers located in Ohio and Indiana effective
February 15, 2013. The estimated annual pre-tax operating costs associated
with these locations are included in the identified $17.1 million of
annualized cost savings. Also during the quarter, the Company incurred
certain pre-tax expenses not expected to recur of $1.0 million, or $0.01 per
diluted share after taxes. Approximately $0.6 million was related to employee
benefit expenses associated with the efficiency plan and $0.3 million was
related to real estate expenses associated with previously announced banking
center consolidation and closure plans. Additionally, the Company recognized
pre-tax gains of $1.0 million resulting from the sales of investment
securities, or $0.01 per diluted share after taxes.

Claude Davis, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "While 2012
presented a variety of challenges, we ended the year on a strong note as we
experienced solid growth in both our uncovered loan portfolio and core deposit
base. We were especially pleased that for the first time since the Irwin
transaction in 2009, uncovered loan growth exceeded the decline in covered
loans as total loan balances increased $35.6 million during the fourth
quarter.

"During the fourth quarter, total uncovered loans increased $113.0 million, or
14.7% on an annualized basis, and increased $210.6 million, or 7.1%, compared
to the prior year. As in recent quarters, the level of early payoffs remained
elevated; however, our strong pipeline at the end of the third quarter
translated into fourth quarter originations and renewals resulting in one of
our best quarters in recent years. We had a particularly strong December
driven by new business in our traditional commercial and franchise lending
businesses. We are optimistic that this momentum will carry over into 2013 as
the pipeline continued to look solid at the end of the year, with specialty
finance expected to contribute meaningfully to first quarter originations.

"Over the last several years, we have made significant investments intended to
create long-term franchise value for all stakeholders in the Company,
including the branch acquisitions we made during 2011 and the build-outs of
our specialty finance and mortgage origination platforms. We recognize that
we face a revenue headwind as the current interest rate and economic
environments combined with our declining covered loan portfolio creates
challenges for achieving earnings growth and positive operating leverage over
the next several quarters. The strategic initiatives we have implemented, as
well as the efficiency plan we are executing on, are evidence of our
commitment to build the premier community banking franchise serving our
markets.

"During 2012, these investments in the franchise began to payoff. Almost 45%
of our year-over-year growth in uncovered loans came from the Indianapolis and
Dayton markets as we achieved significant growth in both our commercial and
retail lines of business. While the earnings impact of this growth was muted
due to the interest rate environment, our sales efforts in these markets have
laid the groundwork for continued success as we aggressively pursue new client
relationships. Additionally, the deposit relationships we added as part of
the branch acquisitions contributed to the growth in core noninterest income
as fee revenue from deposit products increased 9.6% during the year.

"Our business credit and equipment finance products also enjoyed tremendous
growth as outstanding balances increased over 80% during the year,
demonstrating our ability to adapt to the ever-changing needs of our client
base. Furthermore, mortgage originations, both those we sell in the secondary
market as well as those retained on our balance sheet, increased over 67%
during 2012. Fee revenue from our mortgage business, which is still early in
its full development, increased 51% year-over-year."

NET INTEREST INCOME AND NET INTEREST MARGIN

Net interest income for the fourth quarter 2012 was $62.0 million as compared
to $59.8 million for the third quarter 2012 and $65.5 million as compared to
the year-over-year period. Compared to the linked quarter, total interest
income increased $1.3 million, or 2.0%, and total interest expense declined
$0.8 million, or 12.9%. Net interest margin was 4.27% for the fourth quarter
2012 as compared to 4.21% for the third quarter 2012 and 4.32% for the fourth
quarter 2011.

Interest income earned on loans increased $0.9 million, or 1.4%, compared to
the prior quarter. Included in the quarterly increase was a prepayment fee of
$2.2 million related to the early payoff of one relationship. Excluding this
prepayment fee, net interest margin was 4.11%, a decline of 10 bps compared to
the linked quarter. Net of the prepayment fee, the lower interest income
earned on loans and decline in net interest margin was driven primarily by an
8.3% decrease in the average balance of covered loans outstanding and, to a
lesser extent, a decline in the yield earned on the portfolio.

The covered loan activity was partially offset by growth in average uncovered
loan balances of $78.0 million, or 2.6% on a linked quarter basis. Excluding
the impact of the prepayment fee, the yield earned on the uncovered portfolio
during the quarter was approximately 4.73%, a 3 bp increase compared to the
linked quarter.

Interest income earned from investment securities increased as a result of a
$140.6 million, or 8.8%, increase in average balances compared to the linked
quarter. However, the impact on net interest margin was muted as the
portfolio yield declined 10 bps to 1.99% as investment rates remain low in the
current environment.

Interest expense and net interest margin continued to benefit from the impact
of deposit pricing and rationalization strategies as the average balance of
interest-bearing deposits declined 2.5% compared to the prior quarter, driven
by a $133.7 million, or 10.6%, decrease in average time deposit balances
during the quarter. The cost of funds related to interest-bearing deposits
decreased 8 bps to 49 bps compared to 57 bps for the linked quarter.

NONINTEREST INCOME

The following table presents noninterest income for the three months ended
December 31, 2012, September 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011 highlighting the
estimated impact of covered loan activity and other transition items on the
Company's reported balance.

  Table I
                                    For the Three Months Ended
                                    December 31,  September 30,  December 31,
  (Dollars in thousands)            2012          2012           2011
  Total noninterest income          $           $   30,830  $  
                                    26,121                      29,640
  Certain significant components of
  noninterest income
  Items likely to recur:
  Accelerated discount on covered   2,455         3,798          4,775
  loans ^1, 2
  FDIC loss sharing income          5,754         8,496          7,433
  Income (loss) related to
  transition/non-strategic          192           (32)           64
  operations
  Items not expected to recur:
  Other items not expected to recur 1,011         2,617          2,270
  Total noninterest income          $           $   15,951  $  
  excluding items noted above       16,709                      15,098
  ^1 See Selected Financial Information for additional information
  ^2 Net of the corresponding valuation adjustment on the FDIC
  indemnification asset

Excluding the items highlighted in Table I, noninterest income earned in the
fourth quarter 2012 was $16.7 million compared to $16.0 million in the third
quarter 2012 and $15.1 million in the fourth quarter 2011. There were no
individually significant items driving the increase compared to the linked
quarter. Other items not expected to recur consist of $1.0 million of gains
on sales of investment securities which are discussed in more detail in
Investments.

NONINTEREST EXPENSE

The following table presents noninterest expense for the three months ended
December 31, 2012, September 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011, including the
estimated effect of covered asset activity, acquired-non-strategic operations
and acquisition-related costs.

  Table II
                                   For the Three Months Ended
                                   December 31,  September 30,  December 31,
  (Dollars in thousands)           2012          2012           2011
  Total noninterest expense        $           $   55,286  $  
                                   53,474                      54,668
  Certain significant components
  of noninterest expense
  Items likely to recur:
  Loss share and covered asset     2,251         3,559          2,522
  expense
  FDIC loss share support          798           951            1,333
  Acquired-non-strategic operating 43            19             (27)
  expenses^1
  Items not expected to recur:
  Acquisition-related costs^1      -             78             1,167
  Other items not expected to      952           374            2,473
  recur
  Total noninterest expense        $           $   50,305  $  
  excluding items noted above      49,430                      47,200
  ^1 See Selected Financial Information for additional information

Excluding the items highlighted in Table II, noninterest expense in the fourth
quarter 2012 was $49.4 million as compared to $50.3 million in the third
quarter 2012 and $47.2 million in the fourth quarter 2011. The decrease of
$0.9 million compared to the linked quarter was due to lower uncovered OREO
and collection expenses, partially offset by higher data processing and
professional services expenses. Loss share and covered asset expense includes
$2.3 million of credit-related expenses, offset by a small amount of net
recoveries on covered OREO. Other items not expected to recur include $0.6
million of employee benefit expenses associated with the efficiency plan and
$0.3 million of real estate expenses associated with previously announced
banking center consolidation and closure plans.

INCOME TAXES

For the fourth quarter 2012, income tax expense was $9.2 million, resulting in
an effective tax rate of 36.1%, compared with income tax expense of $8.9
million and an effective tax rate of 35.4% during the third quarter 2012 and
$10.4 million and an effective tax rate of 36.8% during the comparable
year-over-year period.

CREDIT QUALITY – EXCLUDING COVERED ASSETS

The following table presents certain credit quality metrics related to the
Company's uncovered loan portfolio as of December 31, 2012 and the trailing
four quarters.

  Table III
                            As of or for the Three Months Ended
                            December  September  June 30,  March    December
                            31,       30,                  31,      31,
  (Dollars in thousands)    2012      2012       2012      2012     2011
  Total nonaccrual loans    $       $        $       $      $  
                            50,930   49,404    63,093   55,945  54,299
  Troubled debt             10,856    11,604     9,909     9,495    4,009
  restructurings - accruing
  Troubled debt
  restructurings -          14,111    13,017     10,185    17,205   18,071
  nonaccrual
  Total troubled debt       24,967    24,621     20,094    26,700   22,080
  restructurings
  Total nonperforming loans 75,897    74,025     83,187    82,645   76,379
  Total nonperforming       88,423    87,937     98,875    97,681   87,696
  assets
  Nonperforming assets as a
  % of:
  Period-end loans plus     2.77%     2.86%      3.27%     3.28%    2.94%
  OREO
  Total assets              1.36%     1.41%      1.57%     1.52%    1.31%
  Nonperforming assets ex.
  accruing TDRs as a % of:
  Period-end loans plus     2.43%     2.48%      2.94%     2.96%    2.81%
  OREO
  Total assets              1.19%     1.22%      1.42%     1.37%    1.25%
  Nonperforming loans as a  2.39%     2.41%      2.76%     2.79%    2.57%
  % of total loans
  Provision for loan and    $      $       $      $     $   
  lease losses - uncovered  3,882    3,613     8,364    3,258   5,164
  Allowance for uncovered   $       $        $       $      $  
  loan & lease losses       47,777   49,192    50,952   49,437  52,576
  Allowance for loan &
  lease losses as a % of:
  Total loans               1.50%     1.60%      1.69%     1.67%    1.77%
  Nonaccrual loans          93.8%     99.6%      80.8%     88.4%    96.8%
  Nonaccrual loans plus     73.5%     78.8%      69.5%     67.6%    72.7%
  nonaccrual TDRs
  Nonperforming loans       63.0%     66.5%      61.3%     59.8%    68.8%
  Total net charge-offs     $      $       $      $     $   
                            5,297    5,373     6,849    6,397   7,125
  Annualized
  net-charge-offs as a % of
  average
  loans & leases            0.68%     0.71%      0.93%     0.87%    0.95%

Net Charge-offs

For the fourth quarter 2012, net charge-offs declined slightly to $5.3
million, or 1.4%, compared to the linked quarter. Net charge-offs for the
fourth quarter included approximately $1.1 million of consumer loan
charge-offs, primarily home equity loans, resulting from recent guidance by
the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ("OCC") clarifying that loans to
consumer borrowers that have been discharged in bankruptcy where the borrower
has not reaffirmed the debt are considered troubled debt restructurings and
should be reported as nonaccrual loans and recorded at the lesser of the
remaining loan balance or the fair value of the collateral securing the loan.
There were no other individually significant items included in net charge-offs
during the fourth quarter and the total amount was driven primarily by
activity in the commercial real estate portfolio.

Nonperforming Assets

Nonaccrual loans, including nonaccrual troubled debt restructurings, increased
$2.6 million, or 4.2%, to $65.0 million as of December 31, 2012 from $62.4
million as of September 30, 2012 driven primarily by $2.3 million of additions
resulting from the previously mentioned OCC guidance on troubled debt
restructurings as well as a $7.0 million addition related to a single
commercial relationship where the Company believes the total exposure is
collateralized substantially in excess of the outstanding balance. These
additions were offset by resolution strategies related to credits in the
commercial real estate and home equity portfolios, including collections,
writedowns, transfers to OREO, dispositions and net charge-offs.

OREO decreased $1.4 million, or 10.0%, to $12.5 million during the fourth
quarter as resolutions and valuation adjustments of $2.5 million exceeded $1.1
million of additions during the quarter. There were no individually material
items included in either the additions or resolutions for the quarter.

Classified assets as of December 31, 2012 totaled $129.0 million as compared
to $133.4 million for the linked quarter and $162.4 million as of December 31,
2011, representing declines of 3.3% and 20.5%, respectively. Classified
assets, which have declined for nine consecutive quarters, are defined by the
Company as nonperforming assets plus performing loans internally rated
substandard or worse.

Delinquent Loans

As of December 31, 2012, loans 30-to-89 days past due decreased to $16.3
million, or 0.51% of period-end loans, as compared to $17.0 million, or 0.55%,
as of September 30, 2012 and $20.4 million, or 0.69%, as of December 31, 2011.

Provision Expense and Allowance for Loan & Lease Losses

Fourth quarter 2012 provision expense related to uncovered loans and leases
was $3.9 million as compared to $3.6 million during the linked quarter and
$5.2 million during the comparable year-over-year quarter. Provision expense
is a result of the Company's modeling efforts to estimate the period-end
allowance for loan and lease losses. As a percentage of net charge-offs,
fourth quarter 2012 provision expense equaled 73.3%. Excluding the $1.1
million of charge-offs related to consumer loans resulting from the OCC
guidance, fourth quarter provision equaled 91.6% of net charge-offs.

The allowance for loan and lease losses declined $1.4 million, or 2.9%,
compared to the prior quarter as a result of a decline in reserves related to
resolved nonaccrual loans. Furthermore, the additions to nonaccrual loans
discussed above required no reserves at December 31, 2012 as those resulting
from the OCC guidance were recorded at the lesser of the remaining loan
balance or the fair value of the underlying collateral and the Company
believes the single commercial relationship is collateralized substantially in
excess of the outstanding balance.

LOANS (EXCLUDING COVERED LOANS)

The following table presents the loan portfolio, not including covered loans,
as of December 31, 2012, September 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011. 

  Table IV
                 As of
                 December 31, 2012    September 30, 2012  December 31, 2011
                            Percent              Percent             Percent
  (Dollars in    Balance    of Total  Balance    of       Balance    of
  thousands)                                     Total               Total
  Commercial     $         27.1%     $         27.2%    $         28.9%
                 861,033             834,858            856,981
  Real estate -  73,517     2.3%      91,897     3.0%     114,974    3.9%
  construction
  Real estate -  1,417,008  44.6%     1,338,636  43.7%    1,233,067  41.5%
  commercial
  Real estate -  318,210    10.0%     299,654    9.8%     287,980    9.7%
  residential
  Installment    56,810     1.8%      59,191     1.9%     67,543     2.3%
  Home equity    367,500    11.6%     368,876    12.0%    358,960    12.1%
  Credit card    34,198     1.1%      31,604     1.0%     31,631     1.1%
  Lease          50,788     1.6%      41,343     1.3%     17,311     0.6%
  financing
  Total          $          100.0%    $          100.0%   $          100.0%
                 3,179,064            3,066,059           2,968,447

Loans, excluding covered loans, totaled $3.2 billion as of December 31, 2012,
increasing $113.0 million, or 14.7% on an annualized basis, compared to the
linked quarter and $210.6 million, or 7.1%, compared to December 31, 2011.
The increase relative to both the linked and comparable quarters was driven by
growth in commercial lending, including the C&I, commercial real estate and
specialty finance portfolios, as well as growth in residential mortgage
lending.

INVESTMENTS

The following table presents a summary of the total investment portfolio at
December 31, 2012.

  Table V
             As of December 31, 2012
             Securities  Securities  Other        Total       Percent    Tax
                                                                         Equiv.
  (Dollars                                                    of
  in         HTM         AFS         Investments  Securities  Portfolio  Yield
  thousands)
  Agency     $         $         $       $         5.0%       1.57%
             20,512     72,984      -          93,496
  CMO -      471,780     451,182     -            922,962     49.2%      1.96%
  fixed rate
  CMO -
  variable   -           167,582     -            167,582     8.9%       0.77%
  rate
  MBS -      111,896     196,351     -            308,247     16.4%      2.82%
  fixed rate
  MBS -
  variable   157,215     52,115      -            209,330     11.2%      2.17%
  rate
  Municipal  9,352       35,997      -            45,349      2.4%       4.41%
  Corporate  -           43,949      -            43,949      2.3%       2.84%
  Other      -           11,936      -            11,936      0.6%       2.84%
  Regulatory -           -           71,492       71,492      3.8%       4.28%
  stock
             $          $           $  71,492   $           100.0%     2.15%
             770,755    1,032,096                1,874,343

The investment portfolio increased $290.9 million, or 18.4%, during the fourth
quarter 2012 as $564.5 million of purchases were offset by sales,
amortizations and paydowns, including continued elevated prepayment activity
related to fixed rate MBS. The Company sold $152.4 million of lower-yielding
agency MBS during the quarter in order to reduce liquidity, interest rate cap
and prepayment risks, recognizing a pre-tax gain of $1.0 million. As of
December 31, 2012, the overall duration of the investment portfolio increased
to 2.8 years compared to 1.8 years as of September 30, 2012. The yield earned
on the portfolio during the quarter declined to 1.99% from 2.09% for the
linked quarter. As of December 31, 2012, the market value of the portfolio
classified as available-for-sale resulted in a net unrealized gain of $15.0
million which is included in other comprehensive income.

A portion of the purchases made during the quarter were funded by wholesale
borrowings under a strategy to pre-fund the investment portfolio based on the
portfolio's expected cash flows over the next twelve months. The increase in
total short-term borrowings of $253.4 million during the fourth quarter
approximates the borrowings under this strategy and had a weighted average
cost of funds of 0.17%.

DEPOSITS

Non-time deposit balances totaled $3.9 billion as of December 31, 2012,
representing an increase of $141.9 million, or 15.1% on an annualized basis,
compared to September 30, 2012. The increase was driven primarily by a $100.6
million increase in commercial balances and a $69.6 million increase in retail
balances, offset by a decline of $35.2 million in public fund balances.

Total time deposit balances decreased $130.7 million, or 10.9%, compared to
the linked quarter as the Company continued to focus on reducing non-core
relationship deposits in connection with its deposit rationalization
strategies.

The Company's rationalization strategies related to deposit pricing continued
to have a positive impact as the total cost of deposit funding declined to 38
bps for the quarter, a decrease of 15.6% compared to the prior quarter and
40.6% compared to the fourth quarter 2011. The composition of the Company's
deposit base continues to improve as non-time deposits comprised 78.4% of
total deposits as of December 31, 2012 compared to 70.7% as of December 31,
2011.

CAPITAL MANAGEMENT

The following table presents First Financial's regulatory and other capital
ratios as of December 31, 2012, September 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011. 

  Table VI
                           As of
                           December  September  December  "Well-Capitalized"
                           31,       30,        31,
                           2012      2012       2011      Minimum
  Leverage Ratio           10.25%    10.54%     9.87%     5.00%
  Tier 1 Capital Ratio     16.32%    16.93%     17.47%    6.00%
  Total Risk-Based Capital 17.60%    18.21%     18.74%    10.00%
  Ratio
  Ending tangible
  shareholders' equity
  to ending tangible       9.50%     9.99%      9.23%     N/A
  assets
  Ending tangible common
  shareholders'
  equity to ending         9.50%     9.99%      9.23%     N/A
  tangible assets

The Company's tangible common equity and regulatory capital ratios decreased
during the quarter primarily due to the increases in tangible assets and
risk-weighted assets resulting from the higher balances of investment
securities and uncovered loans and, to a lesser extent, the decrease in
shareholders' equity resulting from share repurchases. As of December 31,
2012, tangible book value per common share was $10.47, consistent with
September 30, 2012 and compared to $10.41 as of December 31, 2011. Regulatory
capital ratios as of December 31, 2012 are considered preliminary pending the
filing of the Company's regulatory reports.

Teleconference / Webcast Information

First Financial's senior management will host a conference call to discuss the
Company's financial and operating results on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at
9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Members of the public who would like to listen to the
conference call should dial (888) 317-6016 (U.S. toll free), (855) 669-9657
(Canada toll free) or +1 (412) 317-6016 (International) (no passcode
required). The number should be dialed five to ten minutes prior to the start
of the conference call. The conference call will also be accessible as an
audio webcast via the Investor Relations section of the Company's website at
www.bankatfirst.com. A replay of the conference call will be available
beginning one hour after the completion of the live call through February 14,
2013 at (877) 344-7529 (U.S. toll free) and +1 (412) 317-0088 (International);
conference number 10023463. The webcast will be archived on the Investor
Relations section of the Company's website through January 30, 2014.

Press Release and Additional Information on Website

This press release as well as supplemental information and any non-GAAP
reconciliations related to this release is available to the public through the
Investor Relations section of First Financial's website at
www.bankatfirst.com/investor.

Forward-Looking Statement

Certain statements contained in this release which are not statements of
historical fact constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (the ''Act''). In addition,
certain statements in future filings by First Financial with the SEC, in press
releases, and in oral and written statements made by or with the approval of
First Financial which are not statements of historical fact constitute
forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Act. Examples of
forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, projections of
revenues, income or loss, earnings or loss per share, the payment or
non-payment of dividends, capital structure and other financial items,
statements of plans and objectives of First Financial or its management or
board of directors and statements of future economic performances and
statements of assumptions underlying such statements. Words such as
''believes,'' ''anticipates,'' "likely," "expected," ''intends,'' and other
similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements but
are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements. Management's
analysis contains forward-looking statements that are provided to assist in
the understanding of anticipated future financial performance. However, such
performance involves risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to
differ materially. Factors that could cause actual results to differ from
those discussed in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited
to:

  omanagement's ability to effectively execute its business plan;
  othe risk that the strength of the United States economy in general and the
    strength of the local economies in which we conduct operations may
    continue to deteriorate resulting in, among other things, a further
    deterioration in credit quality or a reduced demand for credit, including
    the resultant effect on our loan portfolio, allowance for loan and lease
    losses and overall financial performance;
  oU.S. fiscal debt and budget matters;
  othe ability of financial institutions to access sources of liquidity at a
    reasonable cost;
  othe impact of recent upheaval in the financial markets and the
    effectiveness of domestic and international governmental actions taken in
    response, and the effect of such governmental actions on us, our
    competitors and counterparties, financial markets generally and
    availability of credit specifically, and the U.S. and international
    economies, including potentially higher FDIC premiums arising from
    increased payments from FDIC insurance funds as a result of depository
    institution failures;
  othe effect of and changes in policies and laws or regulatory agencies
    (notably the recently enacted Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer
    Protection Act);
  othe effect of the current low interest rate environment or changes in
    interest rates on our net interest margin and our loan originations and
    securities holdings;
  oour ability to keep up with technological changes;
  ofailure or breach of our operational or security systems or
    infrastructure, or those of our third party vendors or other service
    providers;
  oour ability to comply with the terms of loss sharing agreements with the
    FDIC;
  omergers and acquisitions, including costs or difficulties related to the
    integration of acquired companies and the wind-down of non-strategic
    operations that may be greater than expected, such as the risks and
    uncertainties associated with the Irwin Mortgage Corporation bankruptcy
    proceedings and other acquired subsidiaries;
  othe risk that exploring merger and acquisition opportunities may detract
    from management's time and ability to successfully manage our Company;
  oexpected cost savings in connection with the consolidation of recent
    acquisitions may not be fully realized or realized within the expected
    time frames, and deposit attrition, customer loss and revenue loss
    following completed acquisitions may be greater than expected;
  oour ability to increase market share and control expenses;
  othe effect of changes in accounting policies and practices, as may be
    adopted by the regulatory agencies as well as the Financial Accounting
    Standards Board and the SEC;
  oadverse changes in the securities, debt and/or derivatives markets;
  oour success in recruiting and retaining the necessary personnel to support
    business growth and expansion and maintain sufficient expertise to support
    increasingly complex products and services;
  omonetary and fiscal policies of the Board of Governors of the Federal
    Reserve System (Federal Reserve) and the U.S. government and other
    governmental initiatives affecting the financial services industry;
  oour ability to manage loan delinquency and charge-off rates and changes in
    estimation of the adequacy of the allowance for loan and lease losses; and
  othe costs and effects of litigation and of unexpected or adverse outcomes
    in such litigation.

In addition, please refer to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended
December 31, 2011, as well as our other filings with the SEC, for a more
detailed discussion of these risks and uncertainties and other factors. Such
forward-looking statements are meaningful only on the date when such
statements are made, and First Financial undertakes no obligation to update
any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the
date on which such a statement is made to reflect the occurrence of
unanticipated events.

About First Financial Bancorp

First Financial Bancorp is a Cincinnati, Ohio based bank holding company. As
of December 31, 2012, the Company had $6.5 billion in assets, $3.9 billion in
loans, $5.0 billion in deposits and $710 million in shareholders' equity.The
Company's subsidiary, First Financial Bank, N.A., founded in 1863, provides
banking and financial services products through its three lines of business:
commercial, retail and wealth management. The commercial and retail units
provide traditional banking services to business and consumer clients. First
Financial Wealth Management provides wealth planning, portfolio management,
trust and estate, brokerage and retirement plan services and had approximately
$2.3 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2012. The
Company's strategic operating markets are located in Ohio, Indiana and
Kentucky where it operates 124 banking centers. Additional information about
the Company, including its products, services and banking locations is
available at www.bankatfirst.com.



FIRST FINANCIAL BANCORP.

CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
(Dollars in thousands, except per share)
(Unaudited)
                    Three months ended,                                         Twelve months ended,
                    Dec. 31,    Sep. 30,    Jun. 30,    Mar. 31,    Dec. 31,    Dec. 31,
                    2012        2012        2012        2012        2011        2012        2011
RESULTS OF
OPERATIONS
Net income          $16,265     $16,242     $17,802     $16,994     $17,941     $67,303     $66,739
Net earnings per    $0.28       $0.28       $0.31       $0.29       $0.31       $1.16       $1.16
share - basic
Net earnings per    $0.28       $0.28       $0.30       $0.29       $0.31       $1.14       $1.14
share - diluted
Dividends declared  $0.28       $0.30       $0.29       $0.31       $0.27       $1.18       $0.78
per share
KEY FINANCIAL
RATIOS
Return on average   1.03%       1.05%       1.13%       1.05%       1.09%       1.07%       1.06%
assets
Return on average
shareholders'       9.06%       9.01%       9.98%       9.67%       9.89%       9.43%       9.37%
equity
Return on average
tangible            10.58%      10.53%      11.68%      11.37%      11.59%      11.01%      11.01%
shareholders'
equity
Net interest margin 4.27%       4.21%       4.49%       4.51%       4.32%       4.37%       4.55%
Net interest margin
(fully tax          4.29%       4.23%       4.50%       4.52%       4.34%       4.39%       4.57%
equivalent) ^(1)
Ending
shareholders'       10.93%      11.48%      11.41%      11.14%      10.68%      10.93%      10.68%
equity as a percent
of ending assets
Ending tangible
shareholders'
equity as a percent
of:
 Ending tangible 9.50%       9.99%       9.91%       9.66%       9.23%       9.50%       9.23%
assets
 Risk-weighted   15.57%      16.16%      16.39%      16.42%      16.63%      15.57%      16.63%
assets
Average
shareholders'       11.35%      11.62%      11.32%      10.91%      11.05%      11.30%      11.33%
equity as a percent
of average assets
Average tangible
shareholders'
equity as a percent
of
 average         9.88%       10.12%      9.84%       9.43%       9.58%       9.83%       9.81%
tangible assets
Book value per      $12.24      $12.24      $12.25      $12.21      $12.22      $12.24      $12.22
share
Tangible book value $10.47      $10.47      $10.47      $10.41      $10.41      $10.47      $10.41
per share
Tier 1 Ratio^(2)    16.32%      16.93%      17.14%      17.18%      17.47%      16.32%      17.47%
Total Capital       17.60%      18.21%      18.42%      18.45%      18.74%      17.60%      18.74%
Ratio^(2)
Leverage Ratio^(2)  10.25%      10.54%      10.21%      9.94%       9.87%       10.25%      9.87%
AVERAGE BALANCE SHEET ITEMS
Loans ^(3)          $3,107,760  $3,037,734  $2,995,296  $2,979,508  $2,983,354  $3,030,308  $2,847,370
Covered loans and
FDIC                920,102     1,002,622   1,100,014   1,179,670   1,287,776   1,050,114   1,443,365
indemnification
asset
Investment          1,746,961   1,606,313   1,713,503   1,664,643   1,257,574   1,682,821   1,149,772
securities
Interest-bearing
deposits with other 5,146       11,390      4,454       126,330     485,432     36,674      361,591
banks
 Total earning     $5,779,969  $5,658,059  $5,813,267  $5,950,151  $6,014,136  $5,799,917  $5,802,098
assets
Total assets        $6,294,084  $6,166,667  $6,334,973  $6,478,931  $6,515,756  $6,318,181  $6,284,961
Noninterest-bearing $1,112,072  $1,052,421  $1,044,405  $931,347    $860,863    $1,035,319  $766,366
deposits
Interest-bearing    3,912,854   4,013,148   4,210,079   4,545,151   4,630,412   4,169,175   4,458,012
deposits
 Total deposits    $5,024,926  $5,065,569  $5,254,484  $5,476,498  $5,491,275  $5,204,494  $5,224,378
Borrowings          $439,308    $257,340    $234,995    $161,911    $174,939    $273,798    $204,414
Shareholders'       $714,373    $716,797    $717,111    $706,547    $719,964    $713,717    $712,252
equity
CREDIT QUALITY RATIOS
(excluding covered assets)
Allowance to ending 1.50%       1.60%       1.69%       1.67%       1.77%       1.50%       1.77%
loans
Allowance to        93.81%      99.57%      80.76%      88.37%      96.83%      93.81%      96.83%
nonaccrual loans
Allowance to        62.95%      66.45%      61.25%      59.82%      68.84%      62.95%      68.84%
nonperforming loans
Nonperforming loans 2.39%       2.41%       2.76%       2.79%       2.57%       2.39%       2.57%
to total loans
Nonperforming
assets to ending    2.77%       2.86%       3.27%       3.28%       2.94%       2.77%       2.94%
loans, plus OREO
Nonperforming
assets to total     1.36%       1.41%       1.57%       1.52%       1.31%       1.36%       1.31%
assets
Net charge-offs to
average loans       0.68%       0.71%       0.93%       0.87%       0.95%       0.79%       0.84%
(annualized)^
^(1)The tax equivalent adjustment to net interest income recognizes the income
tax savings when comparing taxable and tax-exempt assets and assumes a 35% tax
rate. Management believes that it is a standard practice in the banking
industry to present net interest margin and net interest income on a fully tax
equivalent basis. Therefore, management believes, these measures provide
useful information to investors by allowing them to make peer comparisons.
Management also uses these measures to make peer comparisons.
^(2)December 31, 2012 regulatory capital ratios are preliminary.
^(3) Includes loans
held for sale.



FIRST FINANCIAL BANCORP.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
(Dollars in thousands, except per share)
(Unaudited)
                Three months ended,              Twelve months ended,
                Dec. 31,                         Dec. 31,
                2012       2011       %Change   2012      2011      %Change
Interest income
 Loans,        $60,389    $69,658    (13.3%)    $249,751  $285,689  (12.6%)
including fees
 Investment
securities
 Taxable    8,410      6,945      21.1%      37,664    28,239    33.4%
 Tax-exempt 370        201        84.1%      736       767       (4.0%)
 Total
investment      8,780      7,146      22.9%      38,400    29,006    32.4%
securities
interest
 Other earning (1,564)    (1,819)    (14.0%)    (7,221)   (5,878)   22.8%
assets
 Total    67,605     74,985     (9.8%)     280,930   308,817   (9.0%)
interest income
Interest
expense
 Deposits      4,798      8,791      (45.4%)    24,625    40,781    (39.6%)
 Short-term    159        25         536.0%     262       163       60.7%
borrowings
 Long-term     672        693        (3.0%)     2,702     3,586     (24.7%)
borrowings
 Subordinated
debentures and  0          0          N/M        0         391       (100.0%)
capital
securities
 Total
interest        5,629      9,509      (40.8%)    27,589    44,921    (38.6%)
expense
 Net       61,976     65,476     (5.3%)     253,341   263,896   (4.0%)
interest income
 Provision for
loan and lease  3,882      5,164      (24.8%)    19,117    19,210    (0.5%)
losses -
uncovered
 Provision for
loan and lease  5,283      6,910      (23.5%)    30,903    64,081    (51.8%)
losses -
covered
 Net
interest income
after provision 52,811     53,402     (1.1%)     203,321   180,605   12.6%
for loan and
lease losses
Noninterest
income
 Service
charges on      5,431      4,920      10.4%      21,215    19,206    10.5%
deposit
accounts
 Trust and
wealth          3,409      3,531      (3.5%)     13,951    14,340    (2.7%)
management fees
 Bankcard      2,526      2,490      1.4%       10,028    9,291     7.9%
income
 Net gains
from sales of   1,179      1,172      0.6%       4,570     4,258     7.3%
loans
 FDIC loss     5,754      7,433      (22.6%)    35,346    60,888    (41.9%)
sharing income
 Accelerated
discount on     2,455      4,775      (48.6%)    13,662    20,521    (33.4%)
covered loans
 Gain on sale
of investment   1,011      2,541      (60.2%)    3,628     2,541     42.8%
securities
 Other         4,356      2,778      56.8%      20,021    11,486    74.3%
 Total
noninterest     26,121     29,640     (11.9%)    122,421   142,531   (14.1%)
income
Noninterest
expenses
 Salaries and
employee        28,033     26,447     6.0%       113,154   106,914   5.8%
benefits
 Net occupancy 5,122      5,893      (13.1%)    20,682    21,410    (3.4%)
 Furniture and 2,291      2,425      (5.5%)     9,190     9,945     (7.6%)
equipment
 Data          2,526      1,559      62.0%      8,837     5,716     54.6%
processing
 Marketing     1,566      1,567      (0.1%)     5,550     5,794     (4.2%)
 Communication 814        864        (5.8%)     3,409     3,203     6.4%
 Professional  1,667      2,252      (26.0%)    7,269     9,636     (24.6%)
services
 State         942        436        116.1%     3,899     3,583     8.8%
intangible tax
 FDIC          1,085      1,192      (9.0%)     4,682     5,676     (17.5%)
assessments
 Loss (gain) -
other real      569        773        (26.4%)    3,250     3,971     (18.2%)
estate owned
 (Gain) loss -
covered other   (54)       784        (106.9%)   2,446     9,224     (73.5%)
real estate
owned
 Loss sharing  2,305      1,738      32.6%      10,725    3,600     197.9%
expense
 Other        6,608      8,738      (24.4%)    28,904    29,425    (1.8%)
 Total
noninterest     53,474     54,668     (2.2%)     221,997   218,097   1.8%
expenses
Income before   25,458     28,374     (10.3%)    103,745   105,039   (1.2%)
income taxes
Income tax      9,193      10,433     (11.9%)    36,442    38,300    (4.9%)
expense
 Net       16,265     17,941     (9.3%)     67,303    66,739    0.8%
income
ADDITIONAL DATA
Net earnings
per share -     $0.28      $0.31                 $1.16     $1.16
basic
Net earnings
per share -     $0.28      $0.31                 $1.14     $1.14
diluted
Dividends
declared per    $0.28      $0.27                 $1.18     $0.78
share
Return on       1.03%      1.09%                 1.07%     1.06%
average assets
Return on
average         9.06%      9.89%                 9.43%     9.37%
shareholders'
equity
Interest income $67,605    $74,985    (9.8%)     $280,930  $308,817  (9.0%)
Tax equivalent  366        265        38.1%      1,055     979       7.8%
adjustment
 Interest
income - tax    67,971     75,250     (9.7%)     281,985   309,796   (9.0%)
equivalent
Interest        5,629      9,509      (40.8%)    27,589    44,921    (38.6%)
expense
 Net interest
income - tax    $62,342    $65,741    (5.2%)     $254,396  $264,875  (4.0%)
equivalent
Net interest    4.27%      4.32%                 4.37%     4.55%
margin
Net interest
margin (fully   4.29%      4.34%                 4.39%     4.57%
tax equivalent)
^(1)
Full-time
equivalent      1,439      1,508
employees^
^(1) The tax equivalent adjustment to net interest income recognizes the
income tax savings when comparing taxable and tax-exempt assets and assumes a
35% tax rate. Management believes that it is a standard practice in the
banking industry to present net interest income on a fully tax equivalent
basis. Therefore, management believes, these measures provided useful
information to investors by allowing them to make peer comparisons.
Management also uses these measures to make peer comparisons.
N/M = Not meaningful.



FIRST FINANCIAL BANCORP.

CONSOLIDATED QUARTERLY STATEMENTS OF INCOME
(Dollars in thousands, except per share)
(Unaudited)
                2012
                Fourth     Third      Second     First                 %
                                                                       Change
                Quarter    Quarter    Quarter    Quarter    YTD        Linked
                                                                       Qtr.
Interest income
 Loans,        $60,389    $59,536    $63,390    $66,436    $249,751   1.4%
including fees
 Investment
securities
 Taxable    8,410      8,358      10,379     10,517     37,664     0.6%
 Tax-exempt 370        111        121        134        736        233.3%
 Total
investment      8,780      8,469      10,500     10,651     38,400     3.7%
securities
interest
 Other earning (1,564)    (1,700)    (1,967)    (1,990)    (7,221)    (8.0%)
assets
 Total    67,605     66,305     71,923     75,097     280,930    2.0%
interest income
Interest
expense
 Deposits      4,798      5,730      6,381      7,716      24,625     (16.3%)
 Short-term    159        54         37         12         262        194.4%
borrowings
 Long-term     672        675        675        680        2,702      (0.4%)
borrowings
 Total
interest        5,629      6,459      7,093      8,408      27,589     (12.9%)
expense
 Net       61,976     59,846     64,830     66,689     253,341    3.6%
interest income
 Provision for
loan and lease  3,882      3,613      8,364      3,258      19,117     7.4%
losses -
uncovered
 Provision for
loan and lease  5,283      6,622      6,047      12,951     30,903     (20.2%)
losses -
covered
Net interest
income after
provision for   52,811     49,611     50,419     50,480     203,321    6.5%
loan and lease
losses
Noninterest
income
 Service
charges on      5,431      5,499      5,376      4,909      21,215     (1.2%)
deposit
accounts
 Trust and
wealth          3,409      3,374      3,377      3,791      13,951     1.0%
management fees
 Bankcard      2,526      2,387      2,579      2,536      10,028     5.8%
income
 Net gains
from sales of   1,179      1,319      1,132      940        4,570      (10.6%)
loans
 FDIC loss     5,754      8,496      8,280      12,816     35,346     (32.3%)
sharing income
 Accelerated
discount on     2,455      3,798      3,764      3,645      13,662     (35.4%)
covered loans
 Gain on sale
of investment   1,011      2,617      0          0          3,628      (61.4%)
securities
 Other         4,356      3,340      9,037      3,288      20,021     30.4%
 Total
noninterest     26,121     30,830     33,545     31,925     122,421    (15.3%)
income
Noninterest
expenses
 Salaries and
employee        28,033     27,212     29,048     28,861     113,154    3.0%
benefits
 Net occupancy 5,122      5,153      5,025      5,382      20,682     (0.6%)
 Furniture and 2,291      2,332      2,323      2,244      9,190      (1.8%)
equipment
 Data          2,526      2,334      2,076      1,901      8,837      8.2%
processing
 Marketing     1,566      1,592      1,238      1,154      5,550      (1.6%)
 Communication 814        788        913        894        3,409      3.3%
 Professional  1,667      1,304      2,151      2,147      7,269      27.8%
services
 State         942        961        970        1,026      3,899      (2.0%)
intangible tax
 FDIC          1,085      1,164      1,270      1,163      4,682      (6.8%)
assessments
 Loss - other
real estate     569        1,372      313        996        3,250      (58.5%)
owned
 (Gain) loss -
covered other   (54)       (25)       1,233      1,292      2,446      116.0%
real estate
owned
 Loss sharing  2,305      3,584      3,085      1,751      10,725     (35.7%)
expense
 Other        6,608      7,515      7,814      6,967      28,904     (12.1%)
 Total
noninterest     53,474     55,286     57,459     55,778     221,997    (3.3%)
expenses
Income before   25,458     25,155     26,505     26,627     103,745    1.2%
income taxes
Income tax      9,193      8,913      8,703      9,633      36,442     3.1%
expense
 Net       $16,265    $16,242    $17,802    $16,994    $67,303    0.1%
income
ADDITIONAL DATA
Net earnings
per share -     $0.28      $0.28      $0.31      $0.29      $1.16
basic
Net earnings
per share -     $0.28      $0.28      $0.30      $0.29      $1.14
diluted
Dividends
declared per    $0.28      $0.30      $0.29      $0.31      $1.18
share
Return on       1.03%      1.05%      1.13%      1.05%      1.07%
average assets
Return on
average         9.06%      9.01%      9.98%      9.67%      9.43%
shareholders'
equity
Interest income $67,605    $66,305    $71,923    $75,097    $280,930   2.0%
Tax equivalent  366        255        216        218        1,055      43.5%
adjustment
 Interest
income - tax    67,971     66,560     72,139     75,315     281,985    2.1%
equivalent
Interest        5,629      6,459      7,093      8,408      27,589     (12.9%)
expense
 Net interest
income - tax    $62,342    $60,101    $65,046    $66,907    $254,396   3.7%
equivalent
Net interest    4.27%      4.21%      4.49%      4.51%      4.37%
margin
Net interest
margin (fully   4.29%      4.23%      4.50%      4.52%      4.39%
tax equivalent)
^(1)
Full-time
equivalent      1,439      1,475      1,525      1,513
employees^
^(1) The tax equivalent adjustment to net interest income recognizes the
income tax savings when comparing taxable and tax-exempt assets and assumes a
35% tax rate. Management believes that it is a standard practice in the
banking industry to present net interest income on a fully tax equivalent
basis. Therefore, management believes, these measures provided useful
information to investors by allowing them to make peer comparisons. Management
also uses these measures to make peer comparisons.



FIRST FINANCIAL BANCORP.

CONSOLIDATED QUARTERLY STATEMENTS OF INCOME
(Dollars in thousands, except per share)
(Unaudited)
                   2011
                   Fourth    Third      Second   First    Full
                   Quarter    Quarter    Quarter  Quarter  Year
Interest income
 Loans,           $69,658    $70,086    $71,929  $74,016  $285,689
including fees
 Investment
securities
 Taxable       6,945      7,411      7,080    6,803    28,239
 Tax-exempt    201        176        192      198      767
 Total
investment         7,146      7,587      7,272    7,001    29,006
securities
interest
 Other earning    (1,819)    (1,721)    (1,384)  (954)    (5,878)
assets
 Total       74,985     75,952     77,817   80,063   308,817
interest income
Interest expense
 Deposits         8,791      9,823      10,767   11,400   40,781
 Short-term       25         44         49       45       163
borrowings
 Long-term        693        867        937      1,089    3,586
borrowings
 Subordinated
debentures and     0          0          197      194      391
capital
securities
 Total        9,509      10,734     11,950   12,728   44,921
interest expense
 Net          65,476     65,218     65,867   67,335   263,896
interest income
 Provision for
loan and lease     5,164      7,643      5,756    647      19,210
losses -
uncovered
 Provision for
loan and lease     6,910      7,260      23,895   26,016   64,081
losses - covered
 Net
interest income
after provision    53,402     50,315     36,216   40,672   180,605
for loan and
lease losses
Noninterest
income
 Service
charges on         4,920      4,793      4,883    4,610    19,206
deposit accounts
 Trust and
wealth             3,531      3,377      3,507    3,925    14,340
management fees
 Bankcard         2,490      2,318      2,328    2,155    9,291
income
 Net gains from   1,172      1,243      854      989      4,258
sales of loans
 FDIC loss        7,433      8,377      21,643   23,435   60,888
sharing income
 Accelerated
discount on        4,775      5,207      4,756    5,783    20,521
covered loans
 Gain on sale
of investment      2,541      0          0        0        2,541
securities
 Other            2,778      2,800      3,147    2,761    11,486
 Total
noninterest        29,640     28,115     41,118   43,658   142,531
income
Noninterest
expenses
 Salaries and
employee           26,447     27,774     25,123   27,570   106,914
benefits
 Net occupancy    5,893      4,164      4,493    6,860    21,410
 Furniture and    2,425      2,386      2,581    2,553    9,945
equipment
 Data             1,559      1,466      1,453    1,238    5,716
processing
 Marketing        1,567      1,584      1,402    1,241    5,794
 Communication    864        772        753      814      3,203
 Professional     2,252      2,062      3,095    2,227    9,636
services
 State            436        546        1,236    1,365    3,583
intangible tax
 FDIC             1,192      1,211      1,152    2,121    5,676
assessments
 Loss (gain) -
other real         773        (287)      163      3,322    3,971
estate owned
 Loss - covered
other real         784        2,707      2,621    3,112    9,224
estate owned
 Loss sharing     1,738      1,048      755      59       3,600
expense
 Other           8,738      7,709      7,670    5,308    29,425
 Total
noninterest        54,668     53,142     52,497   57,790   218,097
expenses
Income before      28,374     25,288     24,837   26,540   105,039
income taxes
Income tax         10,433     9,670      8,864    9,333    38,300
expense
 Net income   $17,941    $15,618    $15,973  $17,207  $66,739
ADDITIONAL DATA
Net earnings per   $0.31      $0.27      $0.28    $0.30    $1.16
share - basic
Net earnings per   $0.31      $0.27      $0.27    $0.29    $1.14
share - diluted
Dividends
declared per       $0.27      $0.27      $0.12    $0.12    $0.78
share
Return on          1.09%      1.01%      1.03%    1.11%    1.06%
average assets
Return on
average            9.89%      8.54%      9.05%    10.04%   9.37%
shareholders'
equity
Interest income    $74,985    $75,952    $77,817  $80,063  $308,817
Tax equivalent     265        236        240      238      979
adjustment
 Interest
income - tax       75,250     76,188     78,057   80,301   309,796
equivalent
Interest expense   9,509      10,734     11,950   12,728   44,921
 Net interest
income - tax       $65,741    $65,454    $66,107  $67,573  $264,875
equivalent
Net interest       4.32%      4.55%      4.61%    4.73%    4.55%
margin
Net interest
margin (fully      4.34%      4.57%      4.62%    4.75%    4.57%
tax equivalent)
^(1)
Full-time
equivalent         1,508      1,377      1,374    1,483
employees^
^(1) The tax equivalent adjustment to net interest income
recognizes the income tax savings when comparing taxable and
tax-exempt assets and assumes a 35% tax rate. Management believes
that it is a standard practice in the banking industry to present
net interest income on a fully tax equivalent basis. Therefore,
management believes, these measures provided useful information to
investors by allowing them to make peer comparisons. Management
also uses these measures to make peer comparisons.



FIRST FINANCIAL BANCORP.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CONDITION
(Dollars in thousands)
(Unaudited)
                    Dec. 31,    Sep. 30,    Jun. 30,    Mar. 31,    Dec. 31,    %        % Change
                                                                                Change
                    2012        2012        2012        2012        2011        Linked   Comparable
                                                                                Qtr.     Qtr.
ASSETS
 Cash and due   $134,502    $154,181    $126,392    $125,949    $149,653    (12.8%)  (10.1%)
from banks

Interest-bearing    24,341      21,495      9,187       24,101      375,398     13.2%    (93.5%)
deposits with other
banks
 Investment
securities          1,032,096   689,680     724,518     736,309     1,441,846   49.6%    (28.4%)
available-for-sale
 Investment                                                                          
securities          770,755     822,319     873,538     917,758     2,664       (6.3%)   N/M
held-to-maturity
 Other          71,492      71,492      71,492      71,492      71,492      0.0%     0.0%
investments
 Loans held for 16,256      23,530      20,971      21,052      24,834      (30.9%)  (34.5%)
sale
 Loans
 Commercial   861,033     834,858     823,890     831,101     856,981     3.1%     0.5%
 Real estate  73,517      91,897      86,173      104,305     114,974     (20.0%)  (36.1%)
- construction
 Real estate  1,417,008   1,338,636   1,321,446   1,262,775   1,233,067   5.9%     14.9%
- commercial
 Real estate  318,210     299,654     292,503     288,922     287,980     6.2%     10.5%
- residential
 Installment  56,810      59,191      61,590      63,793      67,543      (4.0%)   (15.9%)
 Home equity  367,500     368,876     365,413     359,711     358,960     (0.4%)   2.4%
 Credit card  34,198      31,604      31,486      31,149      31,631      8.2%     8.1%
 Lease        50,788      41,343      30,109      21,794      17,311      22.8%    193.4%
financing
 Total
loans, excluding    3,179,064   3,066,059   3,012,610   2,963,550   2,968,447   3.7%     7.1%
covered loans
 Less
 Allowance
for loan and lease  47,777      49,192      50,952      49,437      52,576      (2.9%)   (9.1%)
losses
 Net    3,131,287   3,016,867   2,961,658   2,914,113   2,915,871   3.8%     7.4%
loans - uncovered
 Covered      748,116     825,515     903,862     986,619     1,053,244   (9.4%)   (29.0%)
loans
 Less
 Allowance
for loan and lease  45,190      48,895      48,327      46,156      42,835      (7.6%)   5.5%
losses
 Net    702,926     776,620     855,535     940,463     1,010,409   (9.5%)   (30.4%)
loans - covered
 Net 3,834,213   3,793,487   3,817,193   3,854,576   3,926,280   1.1%     (2.3%)
loans
 Premises and   146,716     146,603     142,744     141,664     138,096     0.1%     6.2%
equipment
 Goodwill       95,050      95,050      95,050      95,050      95,050      0.0%     0.0%
 Other          7,648       8,327       9,195       10,193      10,844      (8.2%)   (29.5%)
intangibles
 FDIC
indemnification     119,607     130,476     146,765     156,397     173,009     (8.3%)   (30.9%)
asset
 Accrued
interest and other  244,372     278,447     245,632     262,027     262,345     (12.2%)  (6.9%)
assets
 Total assets $6,497,048  $6,235,087  $6,282,677  $6,416,568  $6,671,511  4.2%     (2.6%)
LIABILITIES
 Deposits

Interest-bearing    $1,160,815  $1,112,843  $1,154,852  $1,289,490  $1,317,339  4.3%     (11.9%)
demand
 Savings      1,623,614   1,568,818   1,543,619   1,613,244   1,724,659   3.5%     (5.9%)
 Time         1,068,637   1,199,296   1,331,758   1,491,132   1,654,662   (10.9%)  (35.4%)
 Total
interest-bearing    3,853,066   3,880,957   4,030,229   4,393,866   4,696,660   (0.7%)   (18.0%)
deposits
              1,102,774   1,063,654   1,071,520   1,007,049   946,180     3.7%     16.6%
Noninterest-bearing
 Total     4,955,840   4,944,611   5,101,749   5,400,915   5,642,840   0.2%     (12.2%)
deposits
 Short-term
borrowings
 Federal
funds purchased and
securities sold
 under
agreements to       122,570     88,190      73,919      78,619      99,431      39.0%    23.3%
repurchase
 FHLB                                                                              
short-term          502,000     283,000     176,000     0           0           77.4%    N/M
borrowings
 Total
short-term          624,570     371,190     249,919     78,619      99,431      68.3%    528.1%
borrowings
 Long-term debt 75,202      75,521      75,120      75,745      76,544      (0.4%)   (1.8%)
 Total     699,772     446,711     325,039     154,364     175,975     56.6%    297.7%
borrowed funds
 Accrued
interest and other  131,011     127,799     139,101     146,596     140,475     2.5%     (6.7%)
liabilities
 Total        5,786,623   5,519,121   5,565,889   5,701,875   5,959,290   4.8%     (2.9%)
liabilities
SHAREHOLDERS'
EQUITY
 Common stock   579,293     578,129     576,929     575,675     579,871     0.2%     (0.1%)
 Retained       330,004     330,014     331,315     330,563     331,351     (0.0%)   (0.4%)
earnings
 Accumulated
other comprehensive (18,677)    (18,855)    (18,172)    (18,687)    (21,490)    (0.9%)   (13.1%)
loss
 Treasury       (180,195)   (173,322)   (173,284)   (172,858)   (177,511)   4.0%     1.5%
stock, at cost
 Total
shareholders'       710,425     715,966     716,788     714,693     712,221     (0.8%)   (0.3%)
equity
 Total
liabilities and     $6,497,048  $6,235,087  $6,282,677  $6,416,568  $6,671,511  4.2%     (2.6%)
shareholders'
equity
N/M = Not
meaningful.



FIRST FINANCIAL BANCORP.

AVERAGE CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CONDITION
(Dollars in thousands)
(Unaudited)
                    Quarterly Averages                                          Year-to-Date Averages
                    Dec. 31,    Sep. 30,    Jun. 30,    Mar. 31,    Dec. 31,    Dec. 31,
                    2012        2012        2012        2012        2011        2012        2011
ASSETS
 Cash and due   $118,619    $118,642    $121,114    $123,634    $121,603    $120,492    $115,692
from banks

Interest-bearing    5,146       11,390      4,454       126,330     485,432     36,674      361,591
deposits with other
banks
 Investment     1,746,961   1,606,313   1,713,503   1,664,643   1,257,574   1,682,821   1,149,772
securities
 Loans held for 18,054      26,035      19,554      19,722      21,067      20,848      13,805
sale
 Loans
 Commercial   819,262     811,998     827,722     850,092     851,006     827,205     811,474
 Real estate  85,219      92,051      99,087      112,945     135,825     97,278      143,751
- construction
 Real estate  1,373,781   1,322,369   1,279,869   1,235,613   1,206,678   1,303,155   1,155,209
- commercial
 Real estate  307,580     293,423     290,335     287,749     293,158     294,803     269,541
- residential
 Installment  58,283      60,691      62,846      65,302      68,945      61,768      66,467
 Home equity  368,605     365,669     361,166     358,360     360,389     363,470     347,312
 Credit card  32,954      31,977      31,383      31,201      30,759      31,882      29,275
 Lease        44,022      33,521      23,334      18,524      15,527      29,899      10,536
financing
 Total
loans, excluding    3,089,706   3,011,699   2,975,742   2,959,786   2,962,287   3,009,460   2,833,565
covered loans
 Less
 Allowance
for loan and lease  50,172      51,486      50,353      53,513      55,157      51,378      56,282
losses
 Net    3,039,534   2,960,213   2,925,389   2,906,273   2,907,130   2,958,082   2,777,283
loans - uncovered
 Covered      794,838     866,486     950,226     1,020,220   1,113,876   907,520     1,255,403
loans
 Less
 Allowance
for loan and lease  48,553      51,150      47,964      47,152      51,330      48,711      41,544
losses
 Net    746,285     815,336     902,262     973,068     1,062,546   858,809     1,213,859
loans - covered
 Net 3,785,819   3,775,549   3,827,651   3,879,341   3,969,676   3,816,891   3,991,142
loans
 Premises and   148,047     145,214     143,261     140,377     128,168     144,238     119,646
equipment
 Goodwill       95,050      95,050      95,050      95,050      77,158      95,050      58,253
 Other          8,001       8,702       9,770       10,506      9,094       9,240       6,067
intangibles
 FDIC
indemnification     125,264     136,136     149,788     159,450     173,900     142,594     187,962
asset
 Accrued
interest and other  243,123     243,636     250,828     259,878     272,084     249,333     281,031
assets
 Total assets $6,294,084  $6,166,667  $6,334,973  $6,478,931  $6,515,756  $6,318,181  $6,284,961
LIABILITIES
 Deposits

Interest-bearing    $1,145,800  $1,164,111  $1,192,868  $1,285,196  $1,388,903  $1,196,764  $1,191,064
demand
 Savings      1,640,427   1,588,708   1,610,411   1,682,507   1,617,588   1,630,426   1,624,840
 Time         1,126,627   1,260,329   1,406,800   1,577,448   1,623,921   1,341,985   1,642,108
 Total
interest-bearing    3,912,854   4,013,148   4,210,079   4,545,151   4,630,412   4,169,175   4,458,012
deposits
              1,112,072   1,052,421   1,044,405   931,347     860,863     1,035,319   766,366
Noninterest-bearing
 Total     5,024,926   5,065,569   5,254,484   5,476,498   5,491,275   5,204,494   5,224,378
deposits
 Short-term
borrowings
 Federal
funds purchased and
securities sold
 under
agreements to       100,087     81,147      80,715      85,891      98,268      86,980      96,060
repurchase
 Federal Home
Loan Bank           263,895     100,758     78,966      0           0           111,295     0
short-term
borrowings
 Total
short-term          363,982     181,905     159,681     85,891      98,268      198,275     96,060
borrowings
 Long-term debt 75,326      75,435      75,314      76,020      76,671      75,523      98,185
 Other          0           0           0           0           0           0           10,169
long-term debt
 Total        439,308     257,340     234,995     161,911     174,939     273,798     204,414
borrowed funds
 Accrued
interest and other  115,477     126,961     128,383     133,975     129,578     126,172     143,917
liabilities
 Total        5,579,711   5,449,870   5,617,862   5,772,384   5,795,792   5,604,464   5,572,709
liabilities
SHAREHOLDERS'
EQUITY
 Common stock   578,691     577,547     576,276     578,514     579,321     577,759     578,725
 Retained       331,414     330,368     332,280     324,370     323,624     329,615     320,579
earnings
 Accumulated
other comprehensive (19,612)    (17,756)    (18,242)    (20,344)    (5,396)     (18,987)    (8,758)
loss
 Treasury       (176,120)   (173,362)   (173,203)   (175,993)   (177,585)   (174,670)   (178,294)
stock, at cost
 Total
shareholders'       714,373     716,797     717,111     706,547     719,964     713,717     712,252
equity
 Total
liabilities and     $6,294,084  $6,166,667  $6,334,973  $6,478,931  $6,515,756  $6,318,181  $6,284,961
shareholders'
equity



FIRST FINANCIAL BANCORP.

NET INTEREST MARGIN RATE/VOLUME ANALYSIS
(Dollars in thousands)
(Unaudited)
                     Quarterly Averages                                     Year-to-Date Averages
                     Dec. 31, 2012      Sep. 30, 2012      Dec. 31, 2011      Dec. 31, 2012      Dec. 31, 2011
                     Balance     Yield  Balance     Yield  Balance     Yield  Balance     Yield  Balance     Yield
Earning assets
Investment           $1,746,961  1.99%  $1,606,313  2.09%  $1,257,574  2.25%  $1,682,821  2.28%  $1,149,772  2.52%
securities
Interest-bearing
deposits with other  5,146       0.54%  11,390      0.45%  485,432     0.25%  36,674      0.30%  361,591     0.31%
banks
Gross loans^(2)      4,027,862   5.79%  4,040,356   5.68%  4,271,130   6.27%  4,080,422   5.94%  4,290,735   6.49%
Total earning        5,779,969   4.64%  5,658,059   4.65%  6,014,136   4.95%  5,799,917   4.84%  5,802,098   5.32%
assets
Nonearning assets
Allowance for loan   (98,725)           (102,636)          (106,487)          (100,089)          (97,826)
and lease losses
Cash and due from    118,619            118,642            121,603            120,492            115,692
banks
Accrued interest     494,221            492,602            486,504            497,861            464,997
and other assets
Total assets         $6,294,084         $6,166,667         $6,515,756         $6,318,181         $6,284,961
Interest-bearing
liabilities
Total
interest-bearing     $3,912,854  0.49%  $4,013,148  0.57%  $4,630,412  0.75%  $4,169,175  0.59%  $4,458,012  0.91%
deposits
Borrowed funds
Short-term           363,982     0.17%  181,905     0.12%  98,268      0.10%  198,275     0.13%  96,060      0.17%
borrowings
Long-term debt       75,326      3.54%  75,435      3.55%  76,671      3.59%  75,523      3.58%  98,185      3.65%
Other long-term      0              0              0              0              10,169      3.85%
debt                             N/M                N/M                N/M                N/M
Total borrowed       439,308     0.75%  257,340     1.12%  174,939     1.63%  273,798     1.08%  204,414     2.03%
funds
Total
interest-bearing     4,352,162   0.51%  4,270,488   0.60%  4,805,351   0.79%  4,442,973   0.62%  4,662,426   0.96%
liabilities
Noninterest-bearing
liabilities
Noninterest-bearing  1,112,072          1,052,421          860,863            1,035,319          766,366
demand deposits
Other liabilities    115,477            126,961            129,578            126,172            143,917
Shareholders'        714,373            716,797            719,964            713,717            712,252
equity
Total liabilities &
shareholders'        $6,294,084         $6,166,667         $6,515,756         $6,318,181         $6,284,961
equity
Net interest         $61,976            $59,846            $65,476            $253,341           $263,896
income^(1)
Net interest                     4.13%              4.05%              4.16%              4.22%              4.36%
spread^(1)
Net interest                     4.27%              4.21%              4.32%              4.37%              4.55%
margin^(1)
^(1) Not tax
equivalent.
^(2) Loans held for
sale, nonaccrual
loans, covered
loans,

and indemnification
asset are included
in gross loans.
N/M = Not
meaningful.



FIRST FINANCIAL BANCORP.

NET INTEREST MARGIN RATE/VOLUME ANALYSIS
(Dollars in thousands)
(Unaudited)
                  Linked Qtr. Income     Comparable Qtr. Income    Year-to-Date Income
                  Variance               Variance                  Variance
                  Rate    Volume  Total   Rate     Volume   Total    Rate      Volume    Total
Earning assets
Investment        $     $     $     $      $       $       $       $        $  
securities        (396)   707    311   (826)   2,460   1,634   (2,770)   12,164    9,394
Interest-bearing
deposits with     2       (8)     (6)     348      (653)    (305)    (36)      (983)     (1,019)
other banks
Gross loans^(2)   1,177   (182)   995     (5,157)  (3,552)  (8,709)  (23,767)  (12,495)  (36,262)
Total earning     783     517     1,300   (5,635)  (1,745)  (7,380)  (26,573)  (1,314)   (27,887)
assets
Interest-bearing
liabilities
Total             $     $     $     $                $       $        $        $
interest-bearing  (809)  (123)   (932)   (3,113)  (880)    (3,993)  (14,450)  (1,706)   (16,156)
deposits
Borrowed funds
Short-term        25      80      105     18       116      134      (36)      135       99
borrowings
Long-term debt    (2)     (1)     (3)     (9)      (12)     (21)     (73)      (811)     (884)
Other long-term   0       0       0       0        0        0        0         (391)     (391)
debt
Total borrowed    23      79      102     9        104      113      (109)     (1,067)   (1,176)
funds
Total
interest-bearing  (786)   (44)    (830)   (3,104)  (776)    (3,880)  (14,559)  (2,773)   (17,332)
liabilities
 Net      $      $     $      $       $      $       $        $       $
interest          1,569   561   2,130  (2,531)  (969)    (3,500)  (12,014)  1,459     (10,555)
income^(1)
^(1)Not tax
equivalent.
^(2)Loans held
for sale,
nonaccrual loans,
covered loans,

and
indemnification
asset are
included in gross
loans.



FIRST FINANCIAL BANCORP.

CREDIT QUALITY

(excluding covered assets)
(Dollars in thousands)
(Unaudited)
                Dec. 31,  Sep. 30,  Jun. 30,  Mar. 31,  Dec. 31,  Full      Full
                                                                  Year      Year
                2012      2012      2012      2012      2011      2012      2011
ALLOWANCE FOR LOAN AND
LEASE LOSS ACTIVITY
Balance at
beginning of    $49,192   $50,952   $49,437   $52,576   $54,537   $52,576   $57,235
period
 Provision for
uncovered loan  3,882     3,613     8,364     3,258     5,164     19,117    19,210
and lease
losses
 Gross
charge-offs
 Commercial 657       1,340     1,129     1,186     1,742     4,312     3,436
 Real estate 0         180       717       1,787     2,105     2,684     6,279
- construction
 Real estate 2,221     2,736     3,811     2,244     2,505     11,012    10,382
- commercial
 Real estate 454       565       191       604       473       1,814     1,551
- residential
 Installment 267       134       116       60        115       577       526
 Home equity 1,722     380       915       644       488       3,661     2,183
 Other       227       469       259       297       363       1,252     1,441
 Total
gross           5,548     5,804     7,138     6,822     7,791     25,312    25,798
charge-offs^
 Recoveries
 Commercial 71        202       48        72        348       393       762
 Real estate 0         0         0         0         5         0         32
- construction
 Real estate 46        38        68        113       68        265       309
- commercial
 Real estate 3         33        9         28        3         73        45
- residential
 Installment 53        72        75        123       96        323       363
 Home equity 32        31        28        24        71        115       117
 Other       46        55        61        65        75        227       301
 Total     251       431       289       425       666       1,396     1,929
recoveries
 Total net     5,297     5,373     6,849     6,397     7,125     23,916    23,869
charge-offs
Ending
allowance for
uncovered loan  $47,777   $49,192   $50,952   $49,437   $52,576   $47,777   $52,576
and lease
losses
NET CHARGE-OFFS TO
AVERAGE LOANS AND LEASES
(ANNUALIZED)
 Commercial   0.28%     0.56%     0.53%     0.53%     0.65%     0.47%     0.33%
 Real estate - 0.00%     0.78%     2.91%     6.36%     6.13%     2.76%     4.35%
construction
 Real estate - 0.63%     0.81%     1.18%     0.69%     0.80%     0.82%     0.87%
commercial
 Real estate - 0.58%     0.72%     0.25%     0.81%     0.64%     0.59%     0.56%
residential
 Installment   1.46%     0.41%     0.26%     (0.39%)   0.11%     0.41%     0.25%
 Home equity   1.82%     0.38%     0.99%     0.70%     0.46%     0.98%     0.59%
 Other         0.94%     2.51%     1.46%     1.88%     2.47%     1.66%     2.86%
Total net       0.68%     0.71%     0.93%     0.87%     0.95%     0.79%     0.84%
charge-offs^
COMPONENTS OF NONPERFORMING LOANS, NONPERFORMING
ASSETS, AND UNDERPERFORMING ASSETS
 Nonaccrual
loans
 Commercial $10,562   $4,563    $12,065   $5,936    $7,809    $10,562   $7,809
 Real estate 950       2,536     7,243     7,005     10,005    950       10,005
- construction
 Real estate 31,002    33,961    36,116    35,581    28,349    31,002    28,349
- commercial
 Real estate 5,045     5,563     5,069     5,131     5,692     5,045     5,692
- residential
 Installment 376       284       319       377       371       376       371
 Home equity 2,499     2,497     2,281     1,915     2,073     2,499     2,073
 Lease       496       0         0         0         0         496       0
financing
Nonaccrual      50,930    49,404    63,093    55,945    54,299    50,930    54,299
loans
 Troubled debt
restructurings
(TDRs)
 Accruing    10,856    11,604    9,909     9,495     4,009     10,856    4,009
 Nonaccrual  14,111    13,017    10,185    17,205    18,071    14,111    18,071
Total TDRs      24,967    24,621    20,094    26,700    22,080    24,967    22,080
Total
nonperforming   75,897    74,025    83,187    82,645    76,379    75,897    76,379
loans
 Other real
estate owned    12,526    13,912    15,688    15,036    11,317    12,526    11,317
(OREO)
Total
nonperforming   88,423    87,937    98,875    97,681    87,696    88,423    87,696
assets
 Accruing
loans past due  212       108       143       203       191       212       191
90 days or more
Total
underperforming $88,635   $88,045   $99,018   $97,884   $87,887   $88,635   $87,887
assets
Total
classified      $129,040  $133,382  $145,621  $154,684  $162,372  $129,040  $162,372
assets
CREDIT QUALITY
RATIOS
(excluding
covered assets)
Allowance for
loan and lease
losses to
 Nonaccrual   93.81%    99.57%    80.76%    88.37%    96.83%    93.81%    96.83%
loans
 Nonaccrual
loans plus      73.46%    78.81%    69.53%    67.58%    72.65%    73.46%    72.65%
nonaccrual TDRs

Nonperforming   62.95%    66.45%    61.25%    59.82%    68.84%    62.95%    68.84%
loans
 Total ending 1.50%     1.60%     1.69%     1.67%     1.77%     1.50%     1.77%
loans
Nonperforming
loans to total  2.39%     2.41%     2.76%     2.79%     2.57%     2.39%     2.57%
loans
Nonperforming
assets to
 Ending
loans, plus     2.77%     2.86%     3.27%     3.28%     2.94%     2.77%     2.94%
OREO
 Total assets 1.36%     1.41%     1.57%     1.52%     1.31%     1.36%     1.31%
Nonperforming
assets,
excluding
accruing TDRs
to
 Ending
loans, plus     2.43%     2.48%     2.94%     2.96%     2.81%     2.43%     2.81%
OREO
 Total assets 1.19%     1.22%     1.42%     1.37%     1.25%     1.19%     1.25%





FIRST FINANCIAL BANCORP.

CAPITAL ADEQUACY
(Dollars in thousands, except per share)
(Unaudited)
                                                                           Twelve months ended,
              Dec. 31,     Sep. 30,    Jun. 30,    Mar. 31,    Dec. 31,    Dec. 31,     Dec. 31,
              2012         2012        2012        2012        2011        2012         2011
PER COMMON
SHARE
Market Price
 High        $16.95       $17.86      $17.70      $18.28      $17.06      $18.28       $18.91
 Low         $13.90       $15.58      $14.88      $16.11      $13.40      $13.90       $13.34
 Close       $14.62       $16.91      $15.98      $17.30      $16.64      $14.62       $16.64
Average
shares        57,800,988   57,976,943  57,933,281  57,795,258  57,744,662  57,876,685   57,691,979
outstanding -
basic
Average
shares        58,670,666   58,940,179  58,958,279  58,881,043  58,672,575  58,868,792   58,693,205
outstanding -
diluted
Ending shares 58,046,235   58,510,916  58,513,393  58,539,458  58,267,054  58,046,235   58,267,054
outstanding
REGULATORY    Preliminary                                                  Preliminary
CAPITAL
Tier 1        $637,176     $641,828    $640,644    $637,612    $636,836    $637,176     $636,836
Capital
Tier 1 Ratio  16.32%       16.93%      17.14%      17.18%      17.47%      16.32%       17.47%
Total Capital $686,961     $690,312    $688,401    $684,838    $683,255    $686,961     $683,255
Total Capital 17.60%       18.21%      18.42%      18.45%      18.74%      17.60%       18.74%
Ratio
Total Capital
in excess of
minimum
 requirement $374,633     $387,115    $389,367    $387,954    $391,623    $374,633     $391,623
Total
Risk-Weighted $3,904,096   $3,789,957  $3,737,920  $3,711,053  $3,645,403  $3,904,096   $3,645,403
Assets
Leverage      10.25%       10.54%      10.21%      9.94%       9.87%       10.25%       9.87%
Ratio
OTHER CAPITAL
RATIOS
Ending
shareholders'
equity to
ending
 assets      10.93%       11.48%      11.41%      11.14%      10.68%      10.93%       10.68%
Ending
tangible
shareholders'
equity
 to ending
tangible      9.50%        9.99%       9.91%       9.66%       9.23%       9.50%        9.23%
assets
Average
shareholders'
equity to
 average     11.35%       11.62%      11.32%      10.91%      11.05%      11.30%       11.33%
assets
Average
tangible
shareholders'
equity
 to average
tangible      9.88%        10.12%      9.84%       9.43%       9.58%       9.83%        9.81%
assets
REPURCHASE
PROGRAM^(1)
Shares        460,500      0           0           0           0           460,500      0
repurchased
Average share
repurchase    $14.78       N/A         N/A         N/A         N/A         $14.78       N/A
price
Total cost of
shares        $6,806       N/A         N/A         N/A         N/A         $6,806       N/A
repurchased
^(1) Represents share
repurchases as part of
publicly announced plans.
N/A=Not
applicable



SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION ON COVERED ASSETS AND ACQUISITION-RELATED ITEMS

To assist in analyzing the effect of the Company's 2009 FDIC assisted
transactions and 2011 branch transactions on its financial results,
supplemental information that segregates the estimated impact on pre-tax
earnings of certain acquisition-related items and provides additional detail
on the covered loan portfolio follows.

SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACQUISITION-RELATED ITEMS

The following table illustrates the estimated income and expense effects of
certain direct acquisition-related items for the three months ended December
31, 2012, September 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011.

  Table VII
                                       For the Three Months Ended
                                       December 31,  September 30,  December
                                                                    31,
  (Dollars in thousands)               2012          2012           2011
  Income effect:
  Accelerated discount on covered      $          $           $   
  loans^1, 2                           2,455        3,798         4,775
  Acquired-non-strategic net interest  6,939         7,931          8,954
  income
  FDIC loss sharing income ^1          5,754         8,496          7,433
  Service charges on deposit accounts
  related to
  acquired-non-strategic operations    34            35             53
  Other income (loss) related to       158           (67)           11
  transition/non-strategic operations
  Total income effect                  $           $   20,193  $  
                                       15,340                      21,226
  Expense effect:
  Provision for loan and lease losses  $          $           $   
  - covered                            5,283        6,622         6,910
  Loss share and covered asset expense 2,251         3,559          2,522
  ^3
  FDIC loss share support^3            798           951            1,333
  Acquired-non-strategic operating     43            19             (27)
  expenses: ^3
  Acquisition-related costs:^3         -             78             1,167
  Total expense effect                 $          $   11,229  $  
                                       8,375                       11,905
  ^1 Included in noninterest income
  ^2 Net of the corresponding valuation adjustment on the FDIC
  indemnification asset
  ^3 Included in noninterest expense

ACCELERATED DISCOUNT ON LOAN PREPAYMENTS AND DISPOSITIONS

During the fourth quarter 2012, First Financial recognized approximately $2.5
million in accelerated discount from acquired loans, net of the corresponding
adjustment on the FDIC indemnification asset. Accelerated discount is
recognized when acquired loans, which are recorded on the Company's balance
sheet at an amount less than the unpaid principal balance, prepay at an amount
greater than their recorded book value. Prepayments can occur through either
customer driven payments before the maturity date or loan sales. The amount
of discount attributable to the credit loss component of each loan varies and
the recognized amount is offset by a related reduction in the FDIC
indemnification asset. Accelerated discount recognized during the quarter
resulted primarily from loan prepayments.

OPERATING EXPENSES AND OTHER ACQUISITION-RELATED COSTS

Acquired-non-strategic operating expenses and acquisition-related costs have
declined significantly as costs associated with acquisitions, including market
exit costs and professional services and other resolution expenses related to
non-strategic acquired subsidiaries, have continued to wind down over the past
several quarters.

NET INTEREST MARGIN IMPACT

Net interest margin is affected by certain activity related to the acquired
loan portfolio. The majority of these loans are accounted for under ASC Topic
310-30 and, as such, the Company is required to periodically update its
forecast of expected cash flows from these loans. Impairment, as a result of
a decrease in expected cash flows, is recognized as provision expense in the
period it is measured and has no impact on net interest margin. Improvements
in expected cash flows, in excess of any prior impairment, are recognized on a
prospective basis through an upward adjustment to the yield earned on the
portfolio. Impairment and improvement are both partially offset by the impact
of changes in the value of the FDIC indemnification asset. Impairment is
partially offset by an increase to the FDIC indemnification asset as a result
of FDIC loss sharing income. Improvement, which is reflected as a higher
yield, is partially offset by a lower yield earned on the FDIC indemnification
asset until the next periodic valuation of the loans and the indemnification
asset. The weighted average yield of the acquired loan portfolio may also be
subject to change as loans with higher yields pay down more quickly or slowly
than loans with lower yields.

The following table shows the estimated yield earned by the Company on its
covered and uncovered loan portfolios and the FDIC indemnification asset for
the three months ended December 31, 2012.

  Table VIII                            For the Three Months Ended
                                        December 31, 2012
                                        Average
  (Dollars in thousands)                Balance                   Yield
  Loans, excluding covered loans        $   3,107,760           5.01%
  ^1
  Covered loan portfolio accounted      717,003                   10.43%
  for under ASC Topic 310-30^2
  Covered loan portfolio accounted      77,835                    11.55%
  for under ASC Topic 310-20^3
  FDIC indemnification asset^2          125,264                   (4.99%)
  Total                                 $   4,027,862           5.79%
  ^1 Includes loans with loss share coverage removed
  ^2 Future yield adjustments subject to change based on required, periodic
  valuation procedures
  ^3 Includes loans with revolving privileges which are scoped out of ASC
  Topic 310-30 and certain loans which the Company elected to treat under
  the cost recovery method of accounting

The yield related to uncovered loans was impacted by the $2.2 million
prepayment fee discussed above in Net Interest Income and Net Interest
Margin. Excluding this item, the yield earned on the uncovered loan portfolio
during the fourth quarter was 4.73%.

LOSS SHARE AGREEMENTS

As of December 31, 2012, 19.0% of the Company's total loans were covered
loans. As required under the loss-share agreements, First Financial must file
monthly certifications with the FDIC on single-family residential loans and
quarterly certifications on all other loans. To date, all certifications have
been filed in a timely manner and without significant issues.

COVERED LOAN PORTFOLIO

The following table presents the covered loan portfolio as of December 31,
2012, September 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011.

  Table IX
                  As of
                  December 31, 2012   September 30, 2012  December 31, 2011
                            Percent             Percent              Percent
  (Dollars in     Balance   of Total  Balance   of Total  Balance    of
  thousands)                                                         Total
  Commercial      $        13.7%     $        14.7%     $         18.6%
                  102,126            121,745            195,892
  Real estate -   10,631    1.4%      12,898    1.6%      17,120     1.6%
  construction
  Real estate -   465,555   62.2%     512,320   62.1%     637,044    60.5%
  commercial
  Real estate -   100,694   13.5%     105,113   12.7%     121,117    11.5%
  residential
  Installment     8,674     1.2%      9,892     1.2%      13,176     1.3%
  Home equity     57,458    7.7%      60,502    7.3%      64,978     6.2%
  Other           2,978     0.4%      3,045     0.4%      3,917      0.4%
  Total           $        100.0%    $        100.0%    $          100.0%
                  748,116            825,515            1,053,244

During the fourth quarter 2012, the total balance of covered loans decreased
$77.4 million, or 9.4%, as compared to the previous quarter.

ALLOWANCE FOR LOAN AND LEASE LOSSES - COVERED

Under the applicable accounting guidance, the allowance for loan losses
related to covered loans is a result of impairment identified in ongoing
valuation procedures and is generally recognized in the current period as
provision expense. However, if improvement is noted in a loan pool that had
previously experienced impairment, the amount of improvement is recognized as
a reduction to the applicable period's provision expense. Additional
improvement beyond previously recorded impairment is reflected as a yield
adjustment on a prospective basis. The timing inherent in this accounting
treatment may result in earnings volatility in future periods.

The following table presents activity in the allowance for loan losses related
to covered loans for the three months ended December 31, 2012, September 30,
2012, June 30, 2012 and March 31, 2012.

  Table X
                            As of or for the Three Months Ended
                            December 31,  September 30,  June 30,  March 31,
  (Dollars in thousands)    2012          2012           2012      2012
  Balance at beginning of   $           $   48,327  $       $  
  period                    48,895                      46,156   42,835
  Provision for loan and    5,283         6,622          6,047     12,951
  lease losses - covered
  Total gross charge-offs   (9,568)       (9,058)        (5,163)   (10,118)
  Total recoveries          580           3,004          1,287     488
  Total net charge-offs     (8,988)       (6,054)        (3,876)   (9,630)
  Ending allowance for loan $                          $       $  
  and lease losses -        45,190       $   48,895  48,327   46,156
  covered

The Company has established an allowance for loan losses associated with
covered loans based on estimated valuation procedures performed each quarter.
As a percentage of total covered loans, the allowance for loan losses totaled
6.04% as of December 31, 2012 compared to 5.92% as of September 30, 2012.

Net charge-offs on covered loans during the fourth quarter 2012 were $9.0
million compared to $6.1 million for the third quarter 2012, an increase of
$2.9 million, or 48.5%. During the fourth quarter 2012, the Company
recognized provision expense of $5.3 million, representing a decrease of $1.3
million, or 20.2%, compared to the linked quarter. The difference between
provision expense and net charge-offs primarily relates to the quarterly
re-estimation of cash flow expectations required under ASC Topic 310-30. The
net present value of expected cash flows is influenced by both the amount and
timing of such cash flows.

In addition to the provision expense, the Company incurred loss share and
covered asset expenses of $2.3 million, consisting primarily of credit
expenses offset by a small amount of gains related to covered OREO. The
receivable due from the FDIC under loss share agreements of $5.8 million
related to total credit costs incurred was recognized as FDIC loss share
income and a corresponding increase to the FDIC indemnification asset.

SOURCE First Financial Bancorp

Website: http://www.bankatfirst.com
Contact: Investors/Analysts, Kenneth Lovik, Vice President, Investor Relations
and Corporate Development, +1-513-979-5837, kenneth.lovik@bankatfirst.com;
Media, Jenny Keighley, Assistant Vice President, Media Relations Manager,
+1-513-979-5852, jennifer.keighley@bankatfirst.com
 
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