First Bancorp (FBNC) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Monday, Zacks.com reports.

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. “

Several other research analysts also recently commented on FBNC. Stephens reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $34.00 price objective on shares of First Bancorp in a research note on Wednesday, December 19th. BidaskClub raised First Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 25th. ValuEngine raised First Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 2nd. FIG Partners raised First Bancorp from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. Finally, Brean Capital set a $42.00 price objective on First Bancorp and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $41.25.

FBNC stock traded down $0.54 during trading on Monday, reaching $36.09. The stock had a trading volume of 52,746 shares, compared to its average volume of 94,119. First Bancorp has a 52 week low of $30.50 and a 52 week high of $43.14. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a current ratio of 1.01. The company has a market cap of $1.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.99, a P/E/G ratio of 2.48 and a beta of 1.24.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 23rd. The financial services provider reported $0.77 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.73 by $0.04. First Bancorp had a return on equity of 12.16% and a net margin of 30.47%. The firm had revenue of $68.25 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $68.41 million. Equities analysts predict that First Bancorp will post 3 earnings per share for the current year.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its stake in First Bancorp by 5.8% during the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 96,222 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,898,000 after purchasing an additional 5,273 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its stake in First Bancorp by 258.8% during the 3rd quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 15,784 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $639,000 after purchasing an additional 11,385 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its stake in First Bancorp by 290.1% during the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 34,475 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,396,000 after purchasing an additional 25,638 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in First Bancorp by 9.7% during the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,112,497 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $85,579,000 after purchasing an additional 187,396 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in First Bancorp by 5.0% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,488,250 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $60,288,000 after purchasing an additional 70,394 shares during the period. 66.46% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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 deposits and individual retirement accounts.

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