First update from Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) on StockNews.com

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC – Get an assessment) was upgraded by StockNews.com from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report released Friday.

Several other equity research analysts have also released reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research moved shares of First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a price target of $50.00 on the stock in a Monday, Dec. 13 report. Raymond James assumed coverage of First Bancorp shares in a research report on Monday, February 28. They set an “outperform” rating and a price target of $49.00 on the stock.

Shares of FBNC rose $0.43 in Friday trading, hitting $44.25. 422,993 shares of the company were traded, against an average volume of 150,981. The company has a debt ratio of 0.05, a quick ratio of 0.71 and a current ratio of 0.72. The company has a market capitalization of $1.58 billion, a price-earnings ratio of 13.45 and a beta of 1.20. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $44.69 and its 200-day simple moving average is $44.93. First Bancorp has a 12-month low of $37.60 and a 12-month high of $50.92.

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First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC – Get Rating) last released its quarterly results on Wednesday, January 26. The financial services provider reported EPS of $0.67 for the quarter, missing the Zacks consensus estimate of $0.76 per ($0.09). First Bancorp had a net margin of 29.02% and a return on equity of 11.00%. The company posted revenue of $88.90 million in the quarter, versus a consensus estimate of $86.15 million. On average, stock analysts expect First Bancorp to post earnings per share of 3.89 for the current fiscal year.

Separately, director Dexter V. Perry acquired 1,000 shares of the company in a transaction dated Monday, March 7. The shares were purchased at an average price of $41.85 per share, for a total transaction of $41,850.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, accessible via this link. Additionally, Director Carlie C. McLamb, Jr. purchased 721 shares of the company in a transaction that took place on Thursday, February 17. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $44.58 per share, with a total value of $32,142.18. Disclosure of this purchase can be found here. 2.28% of the shares are held by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently changed their positions in the company. Gamco Investors Inc. ET AL increased its equity stake in First Bancorp by 0.9% in Q3. Gamco Investors Inc. ET AL now owns 22,800 shares of the financial services provider worth $981,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares during the period. Eaton Vance Management raised its position in First Bancorp shares by 0.4% in the third quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 46,475 shares of the financial services provider valued at $1,975,000 after purchasing an additional 201 shares during the period. Credit Suisse AG increased its equity stake in First Bancorp by 0.9% during the second quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 31,645 shares of the financial services provider worth $1,294,000 after buying 271 additional shares in the last quarter. Greenwood Capital Associates LLC increased its holdings of First Bancorp shares by 1.4% during the fourth quarter. Greenwood Capital Associates LLC now owns 19,710 shares of the financial services provider worth $901,000 after purchasing an additional 274 shares during the period. Finally, Shell Asset Management Co. increased its stake in First Bancorp by 3.0% in the 4th quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. now owns 10,746 shares of the financial services provider valued at $491,000 after buying 312 more shares in the last quarter. 65.67% of the shares are currently held by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About First Bancorp (Get an evaluation)

First Bancorp operates as a bank holding company, which engages in banking business, accepting deposits and making loans. It offers a range of deposit products such as checking, savings, NOW and money market accounts, as well as term deposits, including various types of certificates of deposit and individual retirement accounts.

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