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

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) has received an average recommendation of “Buy” from the seven research firms that are covering the company, MarketBeat reports. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 1 year price target among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $39.00.

FBNC has been the topic of a number of research reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of First Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $41.00 target price on shares of First Bancorp in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. BidaskClub lowered shares of First Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. Brean Capital reissued a “buy” rating on shares of First Bancorp in a research note on Tuesday, December 5th. Finally, Stephens initiated coverage on shares of First Bancorp in a research note on Monday, December 4th. They issued an “equal weight” rating on the stock.

Shares of First Bancorp (NASDAQ FBNC) opened at $35.68 on Friday. 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 twelve month low of $26.47 and a twelve month high of $41.76. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,052.06, a PE ratio of 20.74, a P/E/G ratio of 1.40 and a beta of 1.09.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 25th. Shareholders of record on Sunday, December 31st will be paid a $0.08 dividend. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.90%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 28th. First Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 18.60%.

In other news, CEO Richard H. Moore purchased 2,755 shares of First Bancorp stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 20th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $36.00 per share, with a total value of $99,180.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 121,741 shares in the company, valued at $4,382,676. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Suzanne S. Deferie sold 12,001 shares of First Bancorp stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.67, for a total transaction of $428,075.67. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 113,408 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,045,263.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.89% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. State Street Corp raised its position in shares of First Bancorp by 27.9% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 461,813 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $14,436,000 after buying an additional 100,632 shares during the period. B. Riley Financial Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of First Bancorp during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $625,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of First Bancorp by 11.8% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 51,557 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,612,000 after buying an additional 5,440 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp raised its position in shares of First Bancorp by 12.1% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 291,653 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $9,116,000 after buying an additional 31,475 shares during the period. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its position in shares of First Bancorp by 62.1% during the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 30,810 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $963,000 after buying an additional 11,800 shares during the period. 56.51% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About First Bancorp

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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