First BanCorp. (NYSE:FBP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a $5.50 target price on the bank’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 15.06% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “First Bancorp distinguished itself by providing innovative marketing strategies and novel products to attract clients. Besides the branches and lending offices, the Corporation has offered a telephone information service called Telebanco since 1983. This was the first telebanking service offered in Puerto Rico. The Corporation’s clients have access to an extensive ATM network all over the world. The Corporation was the first in Puerto Rico to open on weekends and the first to offer in-store branches to its clients. “

FBP has been the topic of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub lowered First BanCorp. from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. ValuEngine raised First BanCorp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $6.67.

First BanCorp. (FBP) traded down 3.43% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $4.78. The company had a trading volume of 2,319,842 shares. The stock has a market cap of $1.02 billion, a PE ratio of 10.39 and a beta of 1.96. First BanCorp. has a 52-week low of $4.72 and a 52-week high of $7.05. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $5.41 and its 200-day moving average price is $5.61.

First BanCorp. (NYSE:FBP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The bank reported $0.13 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.11 by $0.02. First BanCorp. had a return on equity of 5.57% and a net margin of 15.17%. The company had revenue of $144.45 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $145.55 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.10 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that First BanCorp. will post $0.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other First BanCorp. news, insider Oaktree Fund Gp, Llc sold 10,000,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $5.66, for a total transaction of $56,600,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 21.10% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Amalgamated Bank lifted its stake in shares of First BanCorp. by 36.3% during the 2nd quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 22,481 shares of the bank’s stock worth $130,000 after purchasing an additional 5,989 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can lifted its stake in shares of First BanCorp. by 21.5% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 24,092 shares of the bank’s stock worth $139,000 after purchasing an additional 4,256 shares during the period. Pacad Investment Ltd. lifted its stake in shares of First BanCorp. by 63.7% during the 2nd quarter. Pacad Investment Ltd. now owns 25,700 shares of the bank’s stock worth $149,000 after purchasing an additional 10,000 shares during the period. LS Investment Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of First BanCorp. by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 26,044 shares of the bank’s stock worth $151,000 after purchasing an additional 370 shares during the period. Finally, Profund Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of First BanCorp. by 15.2% during the 2nd quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 30,661 shares of the bank’s stock worth $178,000 after purchasing an additional 4,052 shares during the period. 91.05% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About First BanCorp.

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