Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday.

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. “

Separately, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $24.00 price target on shares of First Bancorp in a report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $22.17.

Shares of First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) traded down 0.05% on Monday, reaching $20.28. 987 shares of the company traded hands. First Bancorp has a one year low of $17.15 and a one year high of $21.94. The company has a market capitalization of $407.36 million, a P/E ratio of 14.78 and a beta of 1.24. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $19.84 and its 200 day moving average is $19.25.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.35 by $0.03. First Bancorp had a return on equity of 8.29% and a net margin of 18.91%. Analysts expect that First Bancorp will post $1.30 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 25th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 30th will be given a $0.08 dividend. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.58%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 28th. First Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is presently 23.36%.

In other First Bancorp news, Director James C. Crawford III bought 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 15th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $18.63 per share, for a total transaction of $37,260.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 59,777 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,113,645.51. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 2.37% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Menta Capital LLC boosted its position in First Bancorp by 12.5% in the first quarter. Menta Capital LLC now owns 15,473 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $292,000 after buying an additional 1,720 shares in the last quarter. Oak Associates Ltd. OH boosted its position in First Bancorp by 0.9% in the first quarter. Oak Associates Ltd. OH now owns 57,275 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,080,000 after buying an additional 530 shares in the last quarter. Dalton Greiner Hartman Maher & Co. acquired a new position in First Bancorp during the second quarter worth about $1,165,000. Strs Ohio boosted its position in First Bancorp by 2.6% in the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 35,300 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $620,000 after buying an additional 900 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Chicago Equity Partners LLC acquired a new position in First Bancorp during the second quarter worth about $279,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.16% of the company’s stock.

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 Company engages in a range of banking activities, including the acceptance of deposits and the making of loans. The Company offers credit cards, debit cards, letters of credit, safe deposit box rentals and electronic funds transfer services, including wire transfers.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:FBNC

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