First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) has received an average rating of “Buy” from the six brokerages that are presently covering the company, MarketBeat reports. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and four have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month target price among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $30.50.

Several research analysts recently issued reports on FBNC shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $36.00 target price for the company in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Brean Capital set a $33.00 target price on shares of First Bancorp and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $34.00 price target on shares of First Bancorp in a research note on Monday, June 26th.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. bought a new stake in First Bancorp in the second quarter worth $100,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its stake in 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 worth $102,000 after purchasing an additional 3,018 shares during the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc lifted its stake in First Bancorp by 250.9% in the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 3,513 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $110,000 after purchasing an additional 2,512 shares during the last quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors bought a new stake in First Bancorp in the second quarter worth $146,000. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc lifted its stake in 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 worth $180,000 after purchasing an additional 1,085 shares during the last quarter. 66.03% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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First Bancorp (NASDAQ FBNC) opened at 31.41 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $30.95 and a 200-day moving average price of $30.07. First Bancorp has a 52 week low of $19.18 and a 52 week high of $32.99. The company has a market capitalization of $775.14 million, a PE ratio of 21.89 and a beta of 1.16.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.02. First Bancorp had a net margin of 17.52% and a return on equity of 7.77%. The company had revenue of $51.79 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $49.49 million. On average, equities analysts predict that First Bancorp will post $1.86 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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 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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