First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) has been assigned an average rating of “Buy” from the six ratings firms that are currently covering the company, MarketBeat reports. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The average 12 month price objective among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $30.50.

FBNC has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $36.00 target price for the company in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Brean Capital initiated coverage on First Bancorp in a report on Friday, June 9th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $33.00 target price for the company. ValuEngine upgraded First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $34.00 target price on shares of First Bancorp in a report on Monday, June 26th.

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Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in FBNC. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. bought a new position in shares of First Bancorp during the second quarter valued at about $100,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in shares of First Bancorp by 1,207.2% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 3,268 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 3,018 shares during the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc boosted its position in shares of First Bancorp by 250.9% in the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 3,513 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $110,000 after buying an additional 2,512 shares during the last quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors bought a new position in shares of First Bancorp during the second quarter valued at about $146,000. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc boosted its position in shares of First Bancorp by 23.1% in the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 5,790 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $180,000 after buying an additional 1,085 shares during the last quarter. 60.55% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ FBNC) opened at 30.65 on Wednesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $31.14 and its 200 day moving average is $30.03. First Bancorp has a 52-week low of $19.11 and a 52-week high of $32.99. The company has a market cap of $756.38 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.36 and a beta of 1.18.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.02. First Bancorp had a return on equity of 7.77% and a net margin of 17.52%. The company had revenue of $51.79 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $49.49 million. Equities research analysts forecast that First Bancorp will post $1.86 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, July 25th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 30th were paid a $0.08 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, June 28th. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.04%. First Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 22.54%.

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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