First Bancorp initiated with outperform rating at Raymond James


First Bancorp FBNC, +3.94% drew an outperform rating and a price target of $49 a share as Raymond James initiated coverage of the regional bank on Monday. Analyst Daniel Tamayo said the stock is trading at a discount to its peers based on its price-to-earnings ratio. “We believe shares have underperformed
peers recently due to a lack of asset sensitivity as well as near-term headwinds from fee income (interchange) and regulatory expense growth due to crossing $10 billion,” Tamayo said. “However, the bank will quickly grow into its expense base, and we are bullish on management’s ability to maintain strong profitability.” Shares of First Bancorp are down 2% so far in 2022, compared to a gain of 0.1% by the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF XLF, +3.22%.

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