First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) was the target of a large increase in short interest in the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 3,478,600 shares, an increase of 9.8% from the June 30th total of 3,168,100 shares. Currently, 1.6% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 1,600,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.2 days.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of FBP. FMR LLC boosted its position in shares of First Bancorp by 177.3% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 5,908,978 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $67,716,000 after acquiring an additional 3,777,700 shares during the last quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. boosted its position in shares of First Bancorp by 89.7% during the 2nd quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 4,106,300 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $39,808,000 after acquiring an additional 1,941,200 shares during the last quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. boosted its position in shares of First Bancorp by 482.0% during the 2nd quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. now owns 2,337,906 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $25,810,000 after acquiring an additional 1,936,181 shares during the last quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of First Bancorp during the 2nd quarter valued at about $18,246,000. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its position in shares of First Bancorp by 292.1% during the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 987,367 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $10,901,000 after acquiring an additional 735,578 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.23% of the company’s stock.

NYSE FBP traded down $0.36 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $9.42. The company had a trading volume of 1,286,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,527,781. First Bancorp has a 52 week low of $7.91 and a 52 week high of $11.94. The company’s 50 day moving average is $10.63. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44, a current ratio of 1.03 and a quick ratio of 1.03. The company has a market capitalization of $2.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.19, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 1.53.

First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 23rd. The bank reported $0.18 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.20 by ($0.02). First Bancorp had a return on equity of 7.73% and a net margin of 29.83%. The company had revenue of $164.77 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $169.10 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.14 EPS. Sell-side analysts forecast that First Bancorp will post 0.74 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 13th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 29th will be given a dividend of $0.03 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 28th. This represents a $0.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.27%. First Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 19.35%.

FBP has been the subject of several analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday. ValuEngine downgraded First Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 15th.

About First Bancorp

First BanCorp. operates as the bank holding company for FirstBank Puerto Rico that provides a range of financial products and services to retail, commercial, and institutional clients. The company operates in six segments: Commercial and Corporate Banking, Consumer (Retail) Banking, Mortgage Banking, Treasury and Investments, United States Operations, and Virgin Islands Operations.

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