First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) has earned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the six brokerages that are covering the stock, MarketBeat reports. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and four have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 1 year price objective among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $30.50.

FBNC has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $34.00 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, May 1st. ValuEngine raised shares of First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Brean Capital initiated coverage on shares of First Bancorp in a report on Friday, June 9th. They set a “buy” rating and a $33.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $34.00 price objective on shares of First Bancorp in a report on Monday, June 26th.

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First Bancorp (NASDAQ FBNC) traded down 0.22% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $31.59. 121,880 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $779.58 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.98 and a beta of 1.18. First Bancorp has a 12 month low of $18.21 and a 12 month high of $32.99. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $31.14 and a 200-day moving average of $29.81.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $51.79 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $49.49 million. First Bancorp had a net margin of 17.52% and a return on equity of 8.23%. Analysts forecast that First Bancorp will post $1.86 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, July 25th. Investors of record on Friday, June 30th were paid a dividend of $0.08 per share. This represents a $0.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.01%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, June 28th. First Bancorp’s payout ratio is currently 22.54%.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its position in First Bancorp by 2.7% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 1,975,197 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $57,854,000 after buying an additional 51,909 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in First Bancorp by 9.6% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,165,101 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $34,126,000 after buying an additional 102,427 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in First Bancorp by 13.3% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 802,073 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $23,492,000 after buying an additional 94,334 shares during the last quarter. Mendon Capital Advisors Corp boosted its position in First Bancorp by 279.9% in the first quarter. Mendon Capital Advisors Corp now owns 605,015 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $17,721,000 after buying an additional 445,765 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp boosted its position in First Bancorp by 6.5% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 365,240 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $9,916,000 after buying an additional 22,410 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 58.77% 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 Bank engages in a range of banking activities, including the acceptance of deposits and the making of loans. The Bank offers credit cards, debit cards, letters of credit, safe deposit box rentals and electronic funds transfer services, including wire transfers.

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