Zacks Investment Research Lowers First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) to Sell

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Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “First Bancorp distinguished itself by providing innovative marketing strategies and novel products to attract clients. Besides the branches and lending offices, the Corporation has offered a telephone information service called Telebanco since 1983. This was the first telebanking service offered in Puerto Rico. The Corporation’s clients have access to an extensive ATM network all over the world. The Corporation was the first in Puerto Rico to open on weekends and the first to offer in-store branches to its clients. “

Separately, ValuEngine raised Vermillion from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 15th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $10.88.

NYSE:FBP opened at $10.91 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $2.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.60, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.23 and a beta of 1.55. First Bancorp has a 1 year low of $7.77 and a 1 year high of $11.94. The company has a 50 day moving average of $10.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45, a current ratio of 1.01 and a quick ratio of 1.01.

First Bancorp (NYSE:FBP) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 24th. The bank reported $0.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.18 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $162.72 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $163.50 million. First Bancorp had a net margin of 28.97% and a return on equity of 7.43%. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.15 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that First Bancorp will post 0.76 earnings per share for the current year.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in First Bancorp by 1.5% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 31,613,378 shares of the bank’s stock worth $271,877,000 after purchasing an additional 463,797 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in First Bancorp by 1.0% during the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 18,362,274 shares of the bank’s stock worth $157,915,000 after purchasing an additional 190,036 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in First Bancorp by 127.5% during the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 9,052,922 shares of the bank’s stock worth $77,855,000 after purchasing an additional 5,073,482 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its holdings in First Bancorp by 177.3% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 5,908,978 shares of the bank’s stock worth $67,716,000 after purchasing an additional 3,777,700 shares during the period. Finally, Norges Bank purchased a new position in First Bancorp during the 4th quarter worth $40,537,000. 89.41% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About First Bancorp

First BanCorp. operates as the bank holding company for FirstBank Puerto Rico that provides a range of financial products and services to retail, commercial, and institutional clients. The company operates in six segments: Commercial and Corporate Banking, Consumer (Retail) Banking, Mortgage Banking, Treasury and Investments, United States Operations, and Virgin Islands Operations.

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