Is First BanCorp. (NYSE: FBP) Back In The Buying Zone?


    The Vanguard Group, Inc. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in First BanCorp. (NYSE:FBP). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Financial company by 1.25% to 23.19 million shares with purchase of 0.29 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 10.63% valued currently at $129.6 million. In addition, SSgA Funds Management, Inc. raised its holdings by 0.31 million to 8.62 million shares. And Frontier Capital Management Co. L… has lifted its position by 4.43% or 0.33 million shares – to 7.88 million shares.

    With over 1.98 million First BanCorp. (FBP) shares trading Friday and a closing price of $5.80 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $11.46 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 9.02% and its price on 07/24/20 lost nearly -2.52%. Currently, there are 216.79M common shares owned by the public and among those 214.25M shares have been available to trade.

    An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 5 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for FBP have a consensus price objective of $8.80. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $10.00 and a low of $7.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the First BanCorp. stock is 1.80 for the next 12 months. But an upside of 42.0% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $9.00.

    Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 52 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 30 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 567,634 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 22 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 43,849 shares.

    The top 3 mutual fund holders in First BanCorp. are iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF, DFA US Small Cap Value Portfolio, and Vanguard Total Stock Market Index. iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF owns 13.5 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $75.46 million. DFA US Small Cap Value Portfolio bought 0.28 million shares to see its total holdings expand to 6.97 million shares valued at over $38.96 million and representing 3.20% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index sold 80282.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 6.1 million shares at a value of $34.12 million. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index now owns shares totaling to 2.80% of the shares outstanding.

    Shares of First BanCorp. (NYSE: FBP) opened at $5.96, up $0.01 from a prior closing price of $5.95. However, the script later closed the day at $5.80, down -2.52%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 9.02% and 10.48% over the past three months. FBP shares are trading -45.23% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -46.05% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $3.50 and touched a high of $11.10 over the same period. Currently, 1.98 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 1.66 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 7.47%, 5.65%, and -25.48% respectively.

    Institutional ownership of First BanCorp. (NYSE: FBP) shares accounts for 94.80% of the company’s 216.79M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 41.96%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 51.69% and 31.61% respectively.

    It has a market capitalization of $1.30B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.47. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 10.19, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $0.57. The company has a PEG of 1.67 and the debt-to-equity ratio at 0.09. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 5.32% over the week and 5.47% over the month.

    Analysts forecast that First BanCorp. (FBP) will achieve an EPS of $0.06 for the current quarter, $0.13 for the next quarter and $0.85 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.03 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $0.07. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $0.18 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -17.40%, and 156.67% over the next financial year. EPS should grow at an annualized rate of 6.10% over the next five years, compared to -16.50% over the past 5-year period.

    If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 5 brokerage firm advisors rate First BanCorp. (FBP) as a “Strong Buy” at a consensus score of 1.80. Specifically, 3 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 1 of the 5 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”

    Looking at the support for the FBP, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Citigroup stated their Neutral rating for the stock in a research note on January 09, 2020, with the firm’s price target at . BofA/Merrill coverage for the First BanCorp. (FBP) stock in a research note released on September 20, 2018 offered a Buy rating with a price target of . Citigroup was of a view on December 21, 2017 that the stock is Buy, while Citigroup gave the stock Neutral rating on February 08, 2017, issuing a price target of $7. Piper Jaffray on their part issued Overweight rating on April 08, 2016.


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