First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) – Equities researchers at Gabelli upped their FY2018 earnings per share estimates for shares of First Bancorp in a research note issued on Wednesday. Gabelli analyst S. Comery now expects that the financial services provider will earn $2.10 per share for the year, up from their prior forecast of $2.05. Gabelli also issued estimates for First Bancorp’s FY2019 earnings at $2.25 EPS, FY2020 earnings at $2.45 EPS and FY2021 earnings at $2.65 EPS.
Separately, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $34.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, May 1st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $26.88.
First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) traded up 0.07% during trading on Thursday, reaching $29.97. 106,826 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $29.34 and a 200-day moving average price of $27.20. The company has a market cap of $665.93 million, a PE ratio of 22.42 and a beta of 1.10. First Bancorp has a 12-month low of $17.15 and a 12-month high of $32.27.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 25th. Investors of record on Friday, March 31st were paid a dividend of $0.08 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 29th. This represents a $0.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.07%. First Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 24.06%.
In related news, insider Eric P. Credle purchased 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 4th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $29.89 per share, for a total transaction of $29,890.00. Following the purchase, the insider now directly owns 26,674 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $797,285.86. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Insiders have purchased a total of 3,222 shares of company stock worth $93,519 over the last quarter. 2.37% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in FBNC. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of First Bancorp by 82.0% in the fourth quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 7,107 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $193,000 after buying an additional 3,201 shares in the last quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of First Bancorp during the third quarter valued at about $289,000. Highbridge Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of First Bancorp during the fourth quarter valued at about $300,000. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its position in shares of First Bancorp by 24.5% in the third quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 16,758 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $332,000 after buying an additional 3,300 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd acquired a new position in shares of First Bancorp during the fourth quarter valued at about $334,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.02% of the company’s stock.
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.