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First Bancorp (FBNC) Registers Cluster of Insider Buying and Two Other Companies with Soft Insider Activity

Expectedly, last week’s insider trading activity was relatively silent as compared to the previous week. But why was this light activity to be expected? Simply put, the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union following an historic referendum held on Thursday. With mounting uncertainty in financial markets, investors, Board members and executives might have decided to stay on the sidelines for quite some time.

Last week’s dollar volume of insider buying increased by roughly 50% relative to the prior week, but almost four-fifths of last week’s volume of insider buying was related to a buying spree of Singapore-based investment company Shanda Group in LendingClub Corp (NYSE:LC). Ignoring the activity related to this large shareholder, last week’s insider buying fell meaningfully relative to the previous week. Similarly, last week’s volume of insider selling fell by roughly 60% week-over-week. With the second-quarter earnings season slowly approaching, insider trading activity may keep being inactive for quite some time. Insider Monkey processed the Form 4 filings revealing insider buying submitted with the SEC on Friday and identified three companies with relatively noteworthy insider buying.

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Regional Bank Registers Cluster of Insider Buying After Announcing $100 Million-Acquisition

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) registered a cluster of insider buying last week, albeit the size of each insider purchase was not overly significant. In fact, the company had the most influential and informed executives buy shares last week. To begin with, President Michael Goodwin Mayer bought 500 shares on Friday for $17.94 each, lifting his overall holding to 11,498 shares. More importantly, Chief Executive Officer Richard H. Moore snatched up two blocks of 1,400 shares each on the same day at a weighted average cost of $17.78. After the recent purchases, Mr. Moore currently holds a direct ownership stake of 96,716 shares. Eric P. Credle, Chief Financial Officer since 1997, purchased 1,000 shares on Friday at $17.72 apiece, which lifted his overall holding to 22,094 shares.

The insider buying comes shortly after the holding company for First Bank announced it was acquiring the parent company of Carolina Bank, Carolina Bank Holding Inc. (NC) (NASDAQ:CLBH), in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at roughly $97.3 million. First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC)’s shares are down 4% year-to-date, mainly owing to 9% drop in their value in the past month alone. Under the terms of the agreement, Carolina Bank shareholders are set to receive either 1.002 shares of First Bancorp shares or $20.00 in cash for each share of Carolina Bank. The acquisition is anticipated to complete in the final quarter of 2016 or first quarter of 2017. The acquiree currently operates eight baking locations, along with three mortgage loan offices.

There were seven hedge funds followed by Insider Monkey with equity investments in the bank at the end of the March quarter, which amassed 11% of its outstanding common stock. Matthew Lindenbaum’s Basswood Capital was the owner of 1.01 million shares of First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) on March 31.

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Let’s head to the second page of this article, where we will discuss the insider buying registered at two other companies.

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