First Bancorp (FBNC) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

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. “

Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. Brean Capital reissued a “buy” rating on shares of First Bancorp in a report on Monday, February 5th. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $42.00 price objective on shares of First Bancorp in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. ValuEngine raised First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, December 31st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $41.00 price objective on shares of First Bancorp in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Finally, Stephens started coverage on First Bancorp in a report on Monday, December 4th. They issued an “equal weight” rating for the company. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. First Bancorp presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $39.50.

Shares of First Bancorp (FBNC) remained flat at $$34.83 during trading on Tuesday. 51,175 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 102,945. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a current ratio of 1.05 and a quick ratio of 1.05. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,030.00, a P/E ratio of 19.35, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.99 and a beta of 1.12. First Bancorp has a 52-week low of $27.50 and a 52-week high of $41.76.

In related news, CEO Richard H. Moore bought 2,755 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 20th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $36.00 per share, with a total value of $99,180.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief executive officer now owns 121,741 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,382,676. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Suzanne S. Deferie sold 12,001 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.67, for a total value of $428,075.67. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 113,408 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,045,263.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.37% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its holdings in shares of First Bancorp by 15.7% during the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 512,414 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $18,093,000 after purchasing an additional 69,481 shares during the last quarter. Pitcairn Co. bought a new position in shares of First Bancorp during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $207,000. ETRADE Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of First Bancorp during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,373,000. AXA grew its holdings in shares of First Bancorp by 43.3% during the fourth quarter. AXA now owns 12,900 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $455,000 after purchasing an additional 3,900 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. grew its holdings in shares of First Bancorp by 50.4% during the fourth quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 46,352 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,637,000 after purchasing an additional 15,542 shares during the last quarter. 56.53% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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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