First Bancorp (FBNC) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $40.00 price target 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. “

Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. BidaskClub lowered First Bancorp from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Friday, March 22nd. Gabelli upgraded First Bancorp from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $44.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. Sandler O’Neill upgraded First Bancorp from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, March 25th. Finally, Brean Capital reiterated a buy rating on shares of First Bancorp in a research report on Monday, March 18th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $41.20.

Shares of NASDAQ:FBNC opened at $35.41 on Friday. First Bancorp has a twelve month low of $30.50 and a twelve month high of $43.14. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.05 billion, a PE ratio of 11.76, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.66 and a beta of 1.26. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a current ratio of 0.99 and a quick ratio of 0.99.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The financial services provider reported $0.75 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.04. First Bancorp had a return on equity of 12.04% and a net margin of 30.44%. The company had revenue of $68.24 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $67.41 million. Equities analysts anticipate that First Bancorp will post 3.06 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Thomas F. Phillips sold 2,250 shares of First Bancorp stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.58, for a total value of $80,055.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 84,212 shares in the company, valued at $2,996,262.96. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 2.37% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of First Bancorp by 2.3% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,224,532 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $77,325,000 after buying an additional 49,096 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in shares of First Bancorp by 1.7% during the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,513,497 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $49,431,000 after buying an additional 25,247 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in shares of First Bancorp by 1.2% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,380,010 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $55,904,000 after buying an additional 16,619 shares during the period. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. grew its position in shares of First Bancorp by 22.7% during the 1st 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 buying an additional 239,475 shares during the period. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its position in shares of First Bancorp by 4.0% during the 1st quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,077,784 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $37,464,000 after buying an additional 41,255 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 66.03% of the company’s stock.

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.

Further Reading: Cash Asset Ratio

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Analyst Recommendations for First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC)

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