First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

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 Wednesday, January 3rd. They currently have $40.00 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. “

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued an overweight rating and issued a $37.00 price target on shares of First Bancorp in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Brean Capital upped their price objective on shares of First Bancorp from $39.00 to $35.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Stephens initiated coverage on shares of First Bancorp in a research note on Monday, December 4th. They set an equal weight rating for the company. BidaskClub lowered shares of First Bancorp from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $41.00 price objective on shares of First Bancorp in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $39.50.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) traded up $0.64 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $36.80. 100,400 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 104,662. The company has a market capitalization of $1,090.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.40, a P/E/G ratio of 1.22 and a beta of 1.10. The company has a quick ratio of 1.05, a current ratio of 1.05 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78. First Bancorp has a fifty-two week low of $26.47 and a fifty-two week high of $41.76.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 25th. Investors of record on Sunday, December 31st will be issued a $0.08 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 28th. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.87%. First Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 18.60%.

In other news, CEO Richard H. Moore bought 2,755 shares of First Bancorp stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 20th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $36.00 per share, with a total value of $99,180.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 121,741 shares in the company, valued at $4,382,676. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Suzanne S. Deferie sold 12,001 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.67, for a total value of $428,075.67. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 113,408 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,045,263.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 2.37% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Russell Investments Group Ltd. increased its position in First Bancorp by 77.6% in the second quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 47,796 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,494,000 after purchasing an additional 20,888 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its position in shares of First Bancorp by 24.3% during the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 98,453 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,078,000 after buying an additional 19,232 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP grew its position in shares of First Bancorp by 2.6% during the 2nd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 58,291 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,822,000 after buying an additional 1,466 shares during the period. Rhumbline Advisers grew its position in shares of First Bancorp by 17.3% during the 2nd quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 30,568 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $956,000 after buying an additional 4,515 shares during the period. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc grew its position in shares of First Bancorp by 23.1% during the 2nd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 5,790 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $180,000 after buying an additional 1,085 shares during the period. 56.51% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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First Bancorp Company Profile

First Bancorp is the bank holding company for First Bank (the Bank). The Company’s principal activity is the ownership and operation of First Bank. The Bank engages in a range of banking activities, including the acceptance of deposits and the making of loans. The Bank offers credit cards, debit cards, letters of credit, safe deposit box rentals and electronic funds transfer services, including wire transfers.

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