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

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on FBNC. Sandler O’Neill lowered First Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 26th. Brean Capital reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of First Bancorp in a research note on Monday, August 27th. Piper Jaffray Companies boosted their price objective on First Bancorp from $44.00 to $46.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 27th. Raymond James lowered First Bancorp from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 10th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered First Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, July 2nd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $41.75.

NASDAQ:FBNC opened at $39.12 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a current ratio of 1.03. First Bancorp has a 52-week low of $33.88 and a 52-week high of $43.14. The firm has a market cap of $1.20 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.15, a P/E/G ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 0.96.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.69 by $0.10. First Bancorp had a return on equity of 10.53% and a net margin of 26.25%. The company had revenue of $67.34 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $68.24 million. Research analysts forecast that First Bancorp will post 3.02 earnings per share for the current year.

In other First Bancorp news, insider Suzanne S. Deferie bought 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 19th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $39.80 per share, for a total transaction of $199,000.00. Following the purchase, the insider now directly owns 132,545 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,275,291. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Richard H. Moore bought 1,250 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 19th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $39.79 per share, for a total transaction of $49,737.50. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief executive officer now directly owns 139,935 shares in the company, valued at $5,568,013.65. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 2.30% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust bought a new position in First Bancorp in the 2nd quarter worth about $123,000. Mount Yale Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in First Bancorp in the 1st quarter worth about $115,000. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new position in shares of First Bancorp during the 1st quarter valued at about $123,000. Sei Investments Co. increased its position in shares of First Bancorp by 60.0% during the 1st quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 3,517 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $126,000 after purchasing an additional 1,319 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of First Bancorp by 78.0% during the 1st quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,887 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $175,000 after purchasing an additional 2,141 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 65.04% of the company’s stock.

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.

Featured Article: Stock Symbols, CUSIP and Other Stock Identifiers

Analyst Recommendations for First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC)

Receive News & Ratings for First Bancorp Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for First Bancorp and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.