Zacks: Brokerages Anticipate First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) Will Post Earnings of $0.78 Per Share

Wall Street brokerages expect First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) to post earnings per share of $0.78 for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Two analysts have issued estimates for First Bancorp’s earnings. First Bancorp posted earnings per share of $0.80 in the same quarter last year, which indicates a negative year over year growth rate of 2.5%. The business is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings report on Wednesday, January 22nd.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that First Bancorp will report full year earnings of $3.18 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.17 to $3.20. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the business will report earnings of $3.09 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.95 to $3.20. Zacks’ earnings per share averages are a mean average based on a survey of analysts that that provide coverage for First Bancorp.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 23rd. The financial services provider reported $0.84 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $69.41 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $71.49 million. First Bancorp had a net margin of 30.74% and a return on equity of 11.87%.

FBNC has been the subject of a number of research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 target price for the company in a research note on Friday, December 13th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. First Bancorp has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $43.67.

FBNC traded down $0.03 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $38.39. 74,478 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 78,141. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.14 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.03, a P/E/G ratio of 3.80 and a beta of 1.13. The company has a quick ratio of 0.97, a current ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36. The company’s fifty day moving average price is $39.65 and its 200-day moving average price is $37.26. First Bancorp has a 52-week low of $33.34 and a 52-week high of $41.34.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 24th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 31st will be paid a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.88%. This is a positive change from First Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 30th. First Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is 23.92%.

In other news, Director Dennis A. Wicker sold 11,758 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.34, for a total value of $450,801.72. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 20,842 shares in the company, valued at approximately $799,082.28. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Mary Clara Capel sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.25, for a total value of $39,250.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 13,012 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $510,721. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 13,521 shares of company stock valued at $520,953 over the last 90 days. 2.37% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its stake in First Bancorp by 27.6% during the 2nd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 73,689 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,684,000 after purchasing an additional 15,930 shares during the period. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. increased its position in shares of First Bancorp by 2.3% during the second quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 173,181 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $6,308,000 after acquiring an additional 3,812 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in shares of First Bancorp by 13.3% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 195,970 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $7,138,000 after acquiring an additional 23,025 shares during the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its position in shares of First Bancorp by 56.7% during the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 28,873 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,052,000 after acquiring an additional 10,453 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp increased its position in shares of First Bancorp by 1.7% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 561,966 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $20,468,000 after acquiring an additional 9,336 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 66.20% 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 deposit and individual retirement accounts.

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