BidaskClub Upgrades First Bancorp (FBNC) to Strong-Buy

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) was upgraded by BidaskClub from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Saturday.

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the company. Brean Capital reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of First Bancorp in a research note on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research cut First Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 13th. Piper Jaffray reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $42.00 target price on shares of First Bancorp in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. ValuEngine upgraded First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, December 31st. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $41.00 target price on shares of First Bancorp in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $39.50.

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Shares of NASDAQ:FBNC opened at $35.62 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.03, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59. First Bancorp has a 1-year low of $27.50 and a 1-year high of $41.76. The firm has a market cap of $1,071.32, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.25, a P/E/G ratio of 1.01 and a beta of 1.11.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last released its earnings results on Monday, January 29th. The financial services provider reported $0.44 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by ($0.09). The business had revenue of $63.72 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $64.12 million. First Bancorp had a return on equity of 8.43% and a net margin of 20.32%. sell-side analysts forecast that First Bancorp will post 2.7 earnings per share for the current year.

In other First Bancorp news, Director Mary Clara Capel sold 2,250 shares of First Bancorp stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.05, for a total transaction of $83,362.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 13,746 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $509,289.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Insiders own 1.89% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new position in First Bancorp during the 3rd quarter valued at about $107,000. Acadian Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of First Bancorp during the fourth quarter worth about $125,000. Advisor Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of First Bancorp by 145.8% during the fourth quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 4,056 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $143,000 after purchasing an additional 2,406 shares in the last quarter. Pitcairn Co. purchased a new position in shares of First Bancorp during the fourth quarter worth about $207,000. Finally, Meeder Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of First Bancorp by 516.0% during the fourth quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 6,074 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $214,000 after purchasing an additional 5,088 shares in the last quarter. 61.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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 deposits and individual retirement accounts.

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