Employees Retirement System of Texas reduced its stake in First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) by 51.0% during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 24,000 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 25,000 shares during the quarter. Employees Retirement System of Texas’ holdings in First Bancorp were worth $784,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in First Bancorp by 1.2% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,380,010 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $55,904,000 after buying an additional 16,619 shares during the last quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH raised its holdings in First Bancorp by 56.0% in the 3rd quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 533,827 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $21,625,000 after buying an additional 191,693 shares during the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in First Bancorp by 10.9% in the 3rd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 37,715 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,528,000 after buying an additional 3,696 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its holdings in First Bancorp by 290.1% in the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 34,475 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,396,000 after buying an additional 25,638 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its holdings in First Bancorp by 5.8% in the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 96,222 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,898,000 after buying an additional 5,273 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 66.47% of the company’s stock.

In related news, CEO Richard H. Moore acquired 3,200 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 26th. The stock was bought at an average price of $31.35 per share, for a total transaction of $100,320.00. Following the purchase, the chief executive officer now directly owns 143,135 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,487,282.25. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Insiders own 2.30% of the company’s stock.

NASDAQ:FBNC opened at $37.54 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.11 billion, a PE ratio of 12.47, a P/E/G ratio of 2.53 and a beta of 1.27. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 1.01 and a quick ratio of 1.01. First Bancorp has a twelve month low of $30.50 and a twelve month high of $43.14.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 23rd. The financial services provider reported $0.77 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.73 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $68.25 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $68.41 million. First Bancorp had a net margin of 30.47% and a return on equity of 12.16%. Analysts forecast that First Bancorp will post 3.02 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 25th. Stockholders of record on Sunday, March 31st will be paid a $0.12 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 28th. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.28%. This is a positive change from First Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. First Bancorp’s payout ratio is currently 13.29%.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on FBNC shares. FIG Partners upgraded shares of First Bancorp from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, January 24th. Brean Capital set a $42.00 price objective on shares of First Bancorp and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, January 25th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 8th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 22nd. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 2nd. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $41.25.

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First Bancorp Profile

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC)

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