First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report issued on Thursday. The firm currently has a $6.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price suggests a potential upside of 13.42% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “First Bancorp distinguished itself by providing innovative marketing strategies and novel products to attract clients. Besides the branches and lending offices, the Corporation has offered a telephone information service called Telebanco since 1983. This was the first telebanking service offered in Puerto Rico. The Corporation’s clients have access to an extensive ATM network all over the world. The Corporation was the first in Puerto Rico to open on weekends and the first to offer in-store branches to its clients. “

Separately, TheStreet raised shares of First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 17th.

First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) opened at 5.29 on Thursday. First Bancorp has a one year low of $2.06 and a one year high of $5.49. The firm has a market cap of $1.13 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.20 and a beta of 2.16. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $4.99 and its 200-day moving average is $4.24.

First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.10. First Bancorp had a net margin of 11.37% and a return on equity of 4.42%. During the same period last year, the company earned ($0.16) EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that First Bancorp will post $0.41 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its stake in First Bancorp by 3.4% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 283,199 shares of the company’s stock worth $827,000 after buying an additional 9,300 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in First Bancorp by 2.4% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,345,149 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,848,000 after buying an additional 54,809 shares during the period. Smith Asset Management Group LP purchased a new stake in First Bancorp during the second quarter worth $427,000. Stilwell Value LLC raised its stake in First Bancorp by 83.5% in the first quarter. Stilwell Value LLC now owns 578,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,688,000 after buying an additional 263,000 shares during the period. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in First Bancorp by 9.5% in the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 996,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,957,000 after buying an additional 86,500 shares during the period. 84.71% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About First Bancorp

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