First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday, Zacks.com reports.

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. “

Separately, ValuEngine upgraded First Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, January 16th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. First Bancorp currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $43.67.

Shares of NASDAQ FBNC opened at $36.12 on Monday. First Bancorp has a twelve month low of $33.34 and a twelve month high of $41.34. The company has a current ratio of 0.97, a quick ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36. The company has a market capitalization of $1.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.65, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.60 and a beta of 1.13. The business has a 50 day simple moving average of $39.16 and a 200-day simple moving average of $37.30.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 22nd. The financial services provider reported $0.71 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.78 by ($0.07). First Bancorp had a net margin of 29.58% and a return on equity of 11.32%. The firm had revenue of $69.28 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $68.73 million. As a group, equities analysts predict that First Bancorp will post 3.07 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Thomas F. Phillips sold 763 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.50, for a total transaction of $30,901.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 82,102 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,325,131. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Mary Clara Capel sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.25, for a total value of $39,250.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 13,012 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $510,721. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 13,521 shares of company stock valued at $520,953. 2.37% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Russell Investments Group Ltd. boosted its position in First Bancorp by 16.0% during the 3rd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 88,135 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,165,000 after acquiring an additional 12,129 shares during the period. Resources Management Corp CT ADV acquired a new position in First Bancorp during the 3rd quarter worth $334,000. First Trust Advisors LP boosted its position in First Bancorp by 21.9% during the 3rd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 68,608 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,463,000 after acquiring an additional 12,332 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its position in First Bancorp by 37.7% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 66,756 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,397,000 after acquiring an additional 18,275 shares during the period. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its position in First Bancorp by 13.1% during the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 45,829 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,669,000 after acquiring an additional 5,298 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 66.24% of the company’s stock.

First Bancorp Company Profile

First Bancorp operates as the bank holding company for First Bank that provides banking products and services for individuals and small to medium-sized businesses primarily in North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina. It accepts deposit products, such as checking, savings, and money market accounts, as well as time deposits, including certificates of deposit and individual retirement accounts.

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