First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) was upgraded by equities researchers at ValuEngine from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Brean Capital reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of First Bancorp in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Piper Jaffray reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $42.00 price target on shares of First Bancorp in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $40.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 15th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. First Bancorp presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $39.50.

Shares of FBNC opened at $38.69 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a current ratio of 1.03. First Bancorp has a twelve month low of $27.50 and a twelve month high of $41.76. The company has a market capitalization of $1,164.40, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.53, a P/E/G ratio of 1.06 and a beta of 1.11.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, January 29th. The financial services provider reported $0.44 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by ($0.09). First Bancorp had a net margin of 23.54% and a return on equity of 10.16%. The company had revenue of $63.72 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $64.12 million. analysts anticipate that First Bancorp will post 2.78 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director Mary Clara Capel sold 2,250 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.05, for a total value of $83,362.50. Following the sale, the director now owns 13,746 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $509,289.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 1.89% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of First Bancorp by 16.4% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,876,045 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $66,244,000 after purchasing an additional 264,581 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its position in shares of First Bancorp by 4.8% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,294,316 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $44,537,000 after purchasing an additional 59,041 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted its position in shares of First Bancorp by 6.3% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 658,191 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $23,241,000 after purchasing an additional 39,147 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its position in shares of First Bancorp by 15.7% in the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 512,414 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $18,093,000 after purchasing an additional 69,481 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Seidman Lawrence B bought a new stake in shares of First Bancorp in the fourth quarter worth $12,797,000. 61.47% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About First Bancorp

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 deposits and individual retirement accounts.

To view ValuEngine’s full report, visit ValuEngine’s official website.

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