First Bancorp’s (FBNC) “Buy” Rating Reaffirmed at Piper Jaffray Companies

Piper Jaffray Companies restated their buy rating on shares of First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday. They currently have a $42.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. ValuEngine upgraded First Bancorp from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Sunday, December 31st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Bancorp from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $40.00 price objective for the company in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Brean Capital restated a buy rating on shares of First Bancorp in a report on Tuesday, October 31st. Stephens initiated coverage on First Bancorp in a report on Monday, December 4th. They set an equal weight rating for the company. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a buy rating and set a $41.00 price objective on shares of First Bancorp in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. First Bancorp presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $39.50.

Shares of First Bancorp (FBNC) traded up $0.17 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $36.97. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 75,770 shares, compared to its average volume of 130,344. The company has a market capitalization of $1,090.90, a P/E ratio of 21.49, a P/E/G ratio of 1.19 and a beta of 1.10. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 1.05 and a current ratio of 1.05. First Bancorp has a 1-year low of $26.47 and a 1-year high of $41.76.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 25th. Stockholders of record on Sunday, December 31st will be issued a dividend of $0.08 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 28th. This represents a $0.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.87%. First Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is 18.60%.

In related news, CEO Richard H. Moore bought 2,755 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 20th. The shares were bought at an average price of $36.00 per share, with a total value of $99,180.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 121,741 shares in the company, valued at $4,382,676. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Suzanne S. Deferie sold 12,001 shares of First Bancorp 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 in the company, valued at approximately $4,045,263.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.89% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in FBNC. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of First Bancorp by 24.8% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,000,939 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $31,290,000 after buying an additional 198,866 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its position in shares of First Bancorp by 30.4% during the third quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 619,044 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $21,301,000 after buying an additional 144,201 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of First Bancorp by 27.9% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 461,813 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $14,436,000 after buying an additional 100,632 shares during the last quarter. Banc Funds Co. LLC boosted its position in shares of First Bancorp by 18.5% during the second quarter. Banc Funds Co. LLC now owns 592,556 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $18,523,000 after buying an additional 92,392 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Jennison Associates LLC purchased a new position in shares of First Bancorp during the third quarter valued at approximately $3,124,000. 56.51% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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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