Zacks Investment Research cut shares of First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published 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. “

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of First Bancorp from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, January 2nd. BidaskClub cut shares of First Bancorp from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. Brean Capital set a $42.00 target price on shares of First Bancorp and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, January 25th. FIG Partners raised shares of First Bancorp from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, January 24th. Finally, Stephens reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $34.00 target price on shares of First Bancorp in a report on Wednesday, December 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $41.25.

NASDAQ:FBNC opened at $36.68 on Monday. First Bancorp has a one year low of $30.50 and a one year 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 stock has a market cap of $1.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.19, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.45 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 net margin of 30.47% and a return on equity of 12.16%. The business had revenue of $68.25 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $68.41 million. Research analysts anticipate that First Bancorp will post 3 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 25th. Stockholders of record on Sunday, March 31st will be issued a dividend of $0.12 per share. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.31%. This is a boost from First Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 28th. First Bancorp’s payout ratio is presently 15.95%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FBNC. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its holdings in shares of First Bancorp by 5.8% during the third 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 last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its holdings in shares of First Bancorp by 258.8% during the third 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 last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its holdings in shares of First Bancorp by 290.1% during the third 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 last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of First Bancorp by 9.7% during the third 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 last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in shares of First Bancorp by 5.0% during the third 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 last quarter. 66.49% of the stock is 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 deposit and individual retirement accounts.

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Analyst Recommendations for First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC)

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