First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report 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 upgraded First Bancorp from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $22.00 to $24.00 in a research report on Monday, August 22nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $22.17.

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First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) traded up 0.50% during trading on Monday, reaching $20.29. 27,514 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm has a market cap of $407.57 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.79 and a beta of 1.24. First Bancorp has a 12 month low of $17.15 and a 12 month high of $21.94. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $19.84 and its 200-day moving average price is $19.25.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.37 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.35 by $0.03. First Bancorp had a return on equity of 8.29% and a net margin of 18.91%. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that First Bancorp will post $1.30 EPS for the current year.

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

In related news, Director James C. Crawford III purchased 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 15th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $18.63 per share, with a total value of $37,260.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 59,777 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,113,645.51. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 2.37% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its position in First Bancorp by 13.9% in the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 75,248 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,323,000 after buying an additional 9,200 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in First Bancorp by 6.2% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 966,720 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $16,995,000 after buying an additional 56,653 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP raised its position in First Bancorp by 0.5% in the second quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 29,262 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $514,000 after buying an additional 147 shares during the period. GSA Capital Partners LLP acquired a new position in First Bancorp during the second quarter worth $199,000. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System raised its position in First Bancorp by 30.1% in the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 86,400 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,519,000 after buying an additional 20,000 shares during the period. 53.16% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

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