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

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday morning, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $41.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock.

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. “

FBNC has been the subject of a number of other reports. Gabelli upgraded shares of First Bancorp from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $44.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. ValuEngine cut shares of First Bancorp from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 2nd. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of First Bancorp from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Saturday, August 17th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $40.25.

NASDAQ FBNC opened at $36.03 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.96, a current ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.08 billion, a PE ratio of 11.97, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.47 and a beta of 1.16. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $35.98 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $36.66. First Bancorp has a 12-month low of $30.50 and a 12-month high of $43.13.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $70.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $69.62 million. First Bancorp had a net margin of 30.19% and a return on equity of 11.83%. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that First Bancorp will post 3.13 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, July 25th. Stockholders of record on Sunday, June 30th were paid a $0.12 dividend. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.33%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 27th. First Bancorp’s payout ratio is 15.95%.

In other news, Director Mary Clara Capel sold 900 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.25, for a total value of $32,625.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 14,012 shares in the company, valued at $507,935. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Thomas F. Phillips sold 2,250 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.58, for a total transaction of $80,055.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 84,212 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,996,262.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 5,150 shares of company stock valued at $184,480 over the last 90 days. 2.37% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of FBNC. Nuveen Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of First Bancorp in the second quarter worth $11,120,000. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. increased its position in First Bancorp by 22.7% during the first quarter. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. now owns 1,296,300 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $45,059,000 after acquiring an additional 239,475 shares during the period. Jennison Associates LLC increased its position in First Bancorp by 20.9% during the second quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 725,860 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $26,436,000 after acquiring an additional 125,303 shares during the period. Federated Investors Inc. PA increased its position in First Bancorp by 38.7% during the first quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 317,549 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $11,038,000 after acquiring an additional 88,582 shares during the period. Finally, Marshall Wace LLP increased its position in First Bancorp by 1,440.2% during the first quarter. Marshall Wace LLP now owns 84,603 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,941,000 after acquiring an additional 79,110 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 65.86% of the company’s stock.

First Bancorp Company Profile

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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