Analysts Set First Bancorp (FBNC) Target Price at $41.50

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) has been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the seven brokerages that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat.com reports. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating on the company. The average twelve-month price objective among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $41.50.

A number of analysts have recently issued reports on FBNC shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $40.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “buy” rating and set a $42.00 target price on shares of First Bancorp in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and set a $41.00 target price on shares of First Bancorp in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. Brean Capital reissued a “buy” rating on shares of First Bancorp in a research note on Monday, January 29th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of First Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 21st.

Shares of First Bancorp (NASDAQ FBNC) traded up $0.17 on Wednesday, hitting $37.23. 178,737 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 76,664. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,099.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.68, a P/E/G ratio of 1.03 and a beta of 1.14. First Bancorp has a 1 year low of $27.50 and a 1 year high of $41.76. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 1.03 and a quick ratio of 1.03.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last issued its earnings results on Monday, January 29th. The financial services provider reported $0.44 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by ($0.09). The company had revenue of $63.72 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $64.12 million. First Bancorp had a net margin of 20.32% and a return on equity of 8.43%. equities analysts forecast that First Bancorp will post 2.7 EPS for the current year.

In other First Bancorp news, CEO Richard H. Moore acquired 2,755 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 purchase, the chief executive officer now directly owns 121,741 shares in the company, valued at $4,382,676. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Suzanne S. Deferie sold 12,001 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.67, for a total transaction of $428,075.67. Following the completion of the sale, 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. 1.89% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FBNC. Seidman Lawrence B purchased a new stake in First Bancorp in the fourth quarter worth about $12,797,000. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of First Bancorp by 16.4% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,876,045 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $66,244,000 after buying an additional 264,581 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC lifted its position in shares of First Bancorp by 1,645.0% during the fourth quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 266,986 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $9,427,000 after buying an additional 251,686 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted 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. Finally, State Street Corp lifted 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. 61.56% 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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