First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

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First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has a $41.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 13.29% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “First Bancorp is a one-bank holding company. The principal activity of the Company is the ownership and operation of First Bank. They also own and operate two nonbank subsidiaries, Montgomery Data Services, Inc. and First Bancorp Financial Services, Inc. “

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on FBNC. Sandler O’Neill upgraded shares of First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, March 25th. Brean Capital reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of First Bancorp in a research report on Monday, March 18th. Gabelli upgraded shares of First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. Finally, BidaskClub cut shares of First Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Friday, March 22nd. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $41.40.

Shares of NASDAQ:FBNC opened at $36.19 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.02, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.65 and a beta of 1.24. First Bancorp has a 52 week low of $30.50 and a 52 week high of $43.14. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 0.99 and a current ratio of 0.99.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The financial services provider reported $0.75 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $68.24 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $67.41 million. First Bancorp had a net margin of 30.44% and a return on equity of 12.04%. As a group, equities analysts forecast that First Bancorp will post 3.09 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other First Bancorp news, Director Thomas F. Phillips sold 2,250 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.58, for a total value of $80,055.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 84,212 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,996,262.96. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Mary Clara Capel sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.50, for a total transaction of $35,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 15,009 shares in the company, valued at approximately $532,819.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 4,250 shares of company stock worth $151,855. Insiders own 2.37% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in FBNC. Quantamental Technologies LLC bought a new stake in First Bancorp in the 4th quarter worth $33,000. Rhumbline Advisers boosted its stake in shares of First Bancorp by 40.4% during the 4th quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 43,283 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,414,000 after purchasing an additional 12,448 shares in the last quarter. Rothschild & Co. Asset Management US Inc. boosted its stake in shares of First Bancorp by 4.0% during the 4th quarter. Rothschild & Co. Asset Management US Inc. now owns 157,670 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,150,000 after purchasing an additional 6,125 shares in the last quarter. Intrust Bank NA bought a new stake in shares of First Bancorp during the 4th quarter valued at about $240,000. Finally, Jennison Associates LLC boosted its stake in shares of First Bancorp by 2.3% during the 4th quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 520,647 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $17,004,000 after purchasing an additional 11,678 shares in the last quarter. 66.03% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About First Bancorp

First Bancorp operates as the bank holding company for First Bank that provides banking products and services for individuals and small to medium-sized businesses primarily in North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina. It accepts deposit products, such as checking, savings, and money market accounts, as well as time deposits, including certificates of deposit and individual retirement accounts.

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