Zacks: Brokerages Expect First Bancorp (FBNC) to Announce $0.60 Earnings Per Share

Wall Street analysts predict that First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) will report earnings per share (EPS) of $0.60 for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Two analysts have made estimates for First Bancorp’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $0.61 and the lowest is $0.59. First Bancorp posted earnings of $0.41 per share during the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year over year growth rate of 46.3%. The company is expected to announce its next quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 26th.

On average, analysts expect that First Bancorp will report full-year earnings of $2.70 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.65 to $2.84. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the business will post earnings of $2.93 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.80 to $3.03. Zacks’ earnings per share calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that follow First Bancorp.

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First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, January 29th. The financial services provider reported $0.44 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.53 by ($0.09). The company had revenue of $63.72 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $64.12 million. First Bancorp had a return on equity of 8.43% and a net margin of 20.32%.

FBNC has been the subject of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $40.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Piper Jaffray reissued a “buy” rating and set a $42.00 price target on shares of First Bancorp in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and set a $41.00 price target on shares of First Bancorp in a research report on Friday, December 22nd. Brean Capital reissued a “buy” rating on shares of First Bancorp in a research report on Monday, January 29th. Finally, ValuEngine raised First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, December 31st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $39.50.

First Bancorp stock traded up $0.25 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $35.87. 5,341 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 91,169. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a current ratio of 1.03. The company has a market capitalization of $1,055.90, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.46, a PEG ratio of 0.99 and a beta of 1.11. First Bancorp has a 12-month low of $27.50 and a 12-month high of $41.76.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 25th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 30th will be given a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 28th. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.12%. This is an increase from First Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.08. First Bancorp’s payout ratio is currently 21.62%.

In other news, Director Mary Clara Capel sold 2,250 shares of First Bancorp stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.05, for a total value of $83,362.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 13,746 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $509,289.30. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 2.30% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in FBNC. SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new stake in shares of First Bancorp in the third quarter valued at $107,000. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL grew its position in shares of First Bancorp by 71.1% in the third quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 16,600 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $571,000 after purchasing an additional 6,900 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its position in shares of First Bancorp by 26.8% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 53,370 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,836,000 after purchasing an additional 11,264 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its position in shares of First Bancorp by 5.0% in the third quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 103,363 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,557,000 after purchasing an additional 4,910 shares during the period. Finally, BB&T Securities LLC purchased a new stake in shares of First Bancorp in the third quarter valued at $423,000. 61.59% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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First Bancorp Company Profile

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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Earnings History and Estimates for First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC)

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