First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) shares saw strong trading volume on Tuesday . 79,084 shares traded hands during trading, a decline of 2% from the previous session’s volume of 80,623 shares.The stock last traded at $18.30 and had previously closed at $18.16.

Several equities research analysts have issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $20.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, July 5th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “market perform” rating and set a $20.00 price objective on shares of First Bancorp in a research report on Sunday, June 26th. FIG Partners downgraded shares of First Bancorp from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $22.00 to $22.50 in a research report on Wednesday, May 11th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. restated an “overweight” rating on shares of First Bancorp in a research report on Sunday, April 10th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $20.63.

The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $18.79 and its 200-day moving average price is $18.96. The firm has a market capitalization of $365.01 million and a P/E ratio of 14.13.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 27th. The financial services provider reported $0.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.31 by $0.02. Analysts predict that First Bancorp will post $1.33 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 25th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 30th will be given a $0.08 dividend. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.76%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, June 28th.

In other news, CEO Richard H. Moore acquired 2,800 shares of First Bancorp stock in a transaction on Friday, June 24th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $17.78 per share, with a total value of $49,784.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 95,317 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,694,736.26. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website.

A hedge fund recently raised its stake in First Bancorp stock. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) by 3.6% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 871,890 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 30,415 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP owned approximately 4.42% of First Bancorp worth $16,340,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

First Bancorp is the bank holding company for First Bank (the Bank). The Company’s banking activities include the acceptance of deposits and the making of loans. The Company also offers credit cards, debit cards, letters of credit, safe deposit box rentals and electronic funds transfer services, including wire transfers.

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