First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Thursday. The firm currently has a $36.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 14.29% from the company’s current price.

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. “

FBNC has been the subject of a number of other research reports. ValuEngine raised First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $34.00 target price on shares of First Bancorp in a research note on Monday, June 26th. Finally, Brean Capital set a $33.00 target price on First Bancorp and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. First Bancorp currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $32.50.

First Bancorp (FBNC) traded down 1.78% on Thursday, hitting $31.50. The company had a trading volume of 81,039 shares. First Bancorp has a one year low of $18.21 and a one year high of $32.99. The stock has a market capitalization of $776.60 million, a PE ratio of 23.60 and a beta of 1.19. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $30.95 and a 200-day moving average of $29.68.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by $0.02. First Bancorp had a return on equity of 8.23% and a net margin of 17.52%. The company had revenue of $51.79 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $49.49 million. Equities analysts anticipate that First Bancorp will post $1.82 EPS for the current year.

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In other First Bancorp news, Director James C. Crawford III purchased 1,000 shares of First Bancorp stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 2nd. The shares were bought at an average price of $28.81 per share, for a total transaction of $28,810.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 62,777 shares in the company, valued at $1,808,605.37. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. In the last 90 days, insiders have purchased 2,500 shares of company stock worth $73,195. 1.89% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan acquired a new position in shares of First Bancorp during the second quarter worth about $731,000. Smith Salley & Associates acquired a new position in shares of First Bancorp during the second quarter worth about $3,528,000. Russell Investments Group Ltd. increased its position in shares of First Bancorp by 77.6% in the second quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 47,796 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,494,000 after buying an additional 20,888 shares in the last quarter. Peregrine Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of First Bancorp by 23.6% in the second quarter. Peregrine Capital Management LLC now owns 227,867 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $7,123,000 after buying an additional 43,533 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Credit Suisse AG increased its position in shares of First Bancorp by 9.3% in the first quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 42,834 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,254,000 after buying an additional 3,627 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 58.06% of the company’s stock.

First Bancorp Company Profile

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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