First BanCorp. (NYSE:FBP) Sees Significant Increase in Short Interest

First BanCorp. (NYSE:FBPGet Rating) was the target of a significant growth in short interest in the month of May. As of May 31st, there was short interest totalling 5,320,000 shares, a growth of 22.9% from the May 15th total of 4,330,000 shares. Currently, 2.8% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 2,200,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.4 days.

Separately, StockNews.com lowered First BanCorp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 23rd.

FBP opened at $13.13 on Friday. First BanCorp. has a 12-month low of $10.88 and a 12-month high of $16.62. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22, a current ratio of 0.71 and a quick ratio of 0.71. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.59 billion, a PE ratio of 9.06, a P/E/G ratio of 1.56 and a beta of 1.10. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $13.86 and its 200 day moving average price is $13.93.

First BanCorp. (NYSE:FBPGet Rating) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The bank reported $0.41 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.32 by $0.09. First BanCorp. had a net margin of 32.77% and a return on equity of 15.21%. The company had revenue of $218.48 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $213.55 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.31 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that First BanCorp. will post 1.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 10th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 25th were paid a dividend of $0.12 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, May 24th. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.66%. This is a boost from First BanCorp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. First BanCorp.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.10%.

In related news, Director Roberto R. Herencia sold 100,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $14.11, for a total transaction of $1,411,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 732,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,335,349.24. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 2.10% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FBP. EverSource Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of First BanCorp. in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Strs Ohio acquired a new position in First BanCorp. in the fourth quarter worth $30,000. Maverick Capital Ltd. bought a new stake in First BanCorp. during the fourth quarter valued at $41,000. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd raised its holdings in shares of First BanCorp. by 34.2% during the third quarter. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd now owns 4,335 shares of the bank’s stock worth $57,000 after purchasing an additional 1,104 shares during the period. Finally, Lazard Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of First BanCorp. by 700.7% in the 4th quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 4,492 shares of the bank’s stock worth $61,000 after buying an additional 3,931 shares during the last quarter. 92.81% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

First BanCorp. Company Profile (Get Rating)

First BanCorp. operates as the bank holding company for FirstBank Puerto Rico that provides a range of financial services to retail, commercial, and institutional clients. The company operates in six segments: Commercial and Corporate Banking, Mortgage Banking, Consumer (Retail) Banking, Treasury and Investments, United States Operations, and Virgin Islands Operations.

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