First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) Receives Consensus Rating of “Buy” from Analysts

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Shares of First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) have been assigned a consensus rating of “Buy” from the eight ratings firms that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating on the company. The average twelve-month target price among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $39.00.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the company. BidaskClub upgraded First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 18th. Zacks Investment Research lowered First Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 14th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded First Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, November 1st.

In related news, Director Dennis A. Wicker sold 11,758 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.34, for a total value of $450,801.72. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 20,842 shares in the company, valued at approximately $799,082.28. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Mary Clara Capel sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.25, for a total transaction of $39,250.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 13,012 shares in the company, valued at $510,721. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.37% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Advisory Services Network LLC acquired a new position in shares of First Bancorp in the 2nd quarter valued at $77,000. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in shares of First Bancorp during the third quarter valued at about $112,000. Denali Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of First Bancorp during the third quarter valued at about $140,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. grew its position in First Bancorp by 22.7% during the second quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,488 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $163,000 after buying an additional 830 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new stake in First Bancorp during the second quarter worth about $200,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 66.17% of the company’s stock.

FBNC stock traded up $0.38 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $39.04. The company had a trading volume of 49,071 shares, compared to its average volume of 67,917. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.16 billion, a PE ratio of 12.97, a P/E/G ratio of 3.73 and a beta of 1.12. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $38.03 and a 200 day moving average price of $36.46. First Bancorp has a fifty-two week low of $30.50 and a fifty-two week high of $39.82. The company has a quick ratio of 0.97, a current ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 23rd. The financial services provider reported $0.84 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $69.41 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $71.49 million. First Bancorp had a return on equity of 11.87% and a net margin of 30.74%. Research analysts predict that First Bancorp will post 3.17 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 24th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 31st will be given a $0.18 dividend. This is a boost from First Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 30th. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.84%. First Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is 15.95%.

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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Analyst Recommendations for First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC)

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