Zacks Investment Research Upgrades First Bancorp (FBP) to Buy

First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $6.50 price target on the bank’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 9.61% from the company’s current price.

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. “

A number of other analysts have also commented on FBP. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $8.00 target price on shares of First Bancorp in a report on Monday. Citigroup lowered their target price on shares of First Bancorp from $7.00 to $6.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Monday, November 20th. ValuEngine raised shares of First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Bank of America lowered their target price on shares of First Bancorp from $7.00 to $6.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, November 8th. Finally, TheStreet lowered shares of First Bancorp from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $6.80.

First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) traded up $0.10 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $5.93. 3,027,165 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,253,283. The company has a quick ratio of 1.03, a current ratio of 1.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. First Bancorp has a 1 year low of $4.48 and a 1 year high of $6.96. The company has a market cap of $1,214.90, a PE ratio of 19.77, a PEG ratio of 0.96 and a beta of 1.93.

First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 6th. The bank reported $0.13 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.11 by $0.02. First Bancorp had a net margin of 9.83% and a return on equity of 5.71%. The firm had revenue of $141.48 million during the quarter. equities research analysts anticipate that First Bancorp will post 0.25 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FBP. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its holdings in First Bancorp by 9.3% during the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 127,095 shares of the bank’s stock worth $735,000 after acquiring an additional 10,778 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. grew its holdings in shares of First Bancorp by 79.7% in the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 233,400 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $1,351,000 after buying an additional 103,500 shares during the period. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of First Bancorp by 17.8% in the 2nd quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 1,397,548 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $8,092,000 after buying an additional 211,246 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its holdings in shares of First Bancorp by 20.9% in the 2nd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,362,006 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $7,886,000 after buying an additional 235,519 shares during the period. Finally, Nationwide Fund Advisors grew its holdings in shares of First Bancorp by 17.8% in the 2nd quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 811,691 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $4,700,000 after buying an additional 122,776 shares during the period. 90.05% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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First Bancorp Company Profile

First BanCorp. is a financial holding company. As of December 31, 2016, the Company controlled two subsidiaries: FirstBank Puerto Rico (the Bank or FirstBank) and FirstBank Insurance Agency, Inc (FirstBank Insurance Agency). It operates in six segments: Commercial and Corporate Banking, which consists of lending and other services; Consumer (Retail) Banking, which consists of consumer lending and deposit-taking activities; Mortgage Banking, which consists of the origination, sale, and servicing of a range of residential mortgage loan products and related hedging activities; Treasury and Investments, which consists of treasury and investment management functions; United States Operations, which consists of all banking activities conducted by FirstBank on the United States mainland, and Virgin Islands Operations, which consists of banking activities conducted by FirstBank in the United States Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands, including retail and commercial banking services.

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