First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Friday, 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 the company. BidaskClub downgraded First Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. Sandler O’Neill upgraded First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, March 25th. Gabelli upgraded First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Finally, Brean Capital reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of First Bancorp in a report on Monday, March 18th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $41.40.

FBNC stock traded down $0.22 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $36.19. 84,053 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 94,841. The company has a quick ratio of 0.99, a current ratio of 0.99 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52. First Bancorp has a 12 month low of $30.50 and a 12 month high of $43.14. The firm has a market cap of $1.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.02, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.65 and a beta of 1.24.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The financial services provider reported $0.75 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ 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 firm had revenue of $68.24 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $67.41 million. As a group, research analysts expect that First Bancorp will post 3.09 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Mary Clara Capel sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.50, for a total transaction of $35,500.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 15,009 shares in the company, valued at approximately $532,819.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Thomas F. Phillips sold 2,250 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.58, for a total value of $80,055.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 84,212 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,996,262.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 4,250 shares of company stock worth $151,855. Company insiders own 2.37% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its holdings in First Bancorp by 81.8% during the 1st quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 2,287 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $80,000 after purchasing an additional 1,029 shares during the period. Semmax Financial Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in First Bancorp during the 4th quarter valued at about $149,000. Legal & General Group Plc increased its holdings in First Bancorp by 23.9% during the 4th quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 5,705 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $186,000 after purchasing an additional 1,102 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its holdings in First Bancorp by 363.1% during the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 6,094 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $212,000 after purchasing an additional 4,778 shares during the period. Finally, Squarepoint Ops LLC increased its holdings in First Bancorp by 26.8% during the 4th quarter. Squarepoint Ops LLC now owns 6,276 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $205,000 after purchasing an additional 1,325 shares during the period. 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.

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