First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday. The firm currently has a $39.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 10.67% from the company’s previous close.

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. “

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $37.00 price target on shares of First Bancorp in a report on Thursday. Brean Capital reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of First Bancorp in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $34.00 price objective on shares of First Bancorp in a research report on Monday, June 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $35.75.

Shares of First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) traded up 0.66% during trading on Thursday, reaching $35.24. The company had a trading volume of 106,663 shares. The company’s 50 day moving average is $31.83 and its 200-day moving average is $30.46. The stock has a market capitalization of $869.65 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.56 and a beta of 1.13. First Bancorp has a 1-year low of $19.18 and a 1-year high of $35.83.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.45 EPS for the quarter, beating 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 for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $49.49 million. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that First Bancorp will post $1.86 earnings per share for the current year.

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Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FBNC. First Trust Advisors LP raised its position in shares of First Bancorp by 0.6% during the 1st quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 56,825 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,664,000 after purchasing an additional 321 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in shares of First Bancorp by 12.0% during the 1st quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 157,128 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,603,000 after purchasing an additional 16,795 shares during the last quarter. Swiss National Bank raised its position in shares of First Bancorp by 30.0% during the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 39,000 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,142,000 after purchasing an additional 9,000 shares during the last quarter. American International Group Inc. raised its holdings in First Bancorp by 7.0% in the 1st quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 12,110 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $355,000 after acquiring an additional 791 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its holdings in First Bancorp by 5.0% in the 1st quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 19,010 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $557,000 after acquiring an additional 900 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 66.03% 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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