SOUTHERN PINES, N.C., Nov. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of First Bancorp (FBNC), the parent company of First Bank, has declared a cash dividend on its common stock of $0.18 per share payable on January 24, 2020 to shareholders of record as of December 31, 2019. The $0.18 dividend rate represents a 50% increase over the prior dividend rate of $0.12.
Additionally, the Board of Directors has authorized an updated share repurchase program (the "Share Repurchase Program"), pursuant to which the Company may purchase shares of its common stock for an aggregate repurchase price not to exceed $40 million. The initial expiration of the Share Repurchase Program is set for December 31, 2020. The Share Repurchase Program does not obligate the Company to purchase any shares. The authorization for the Share Repurchase Program may be terminated by the Company's Board of Directors at any time. The Share Repurchase Program replaces a similar program announced on February 5, 2019 that provided up to $25 million of repurchase authorization. The Company repurchased shares with a total price of $10 million under that program.
"We are pleased to report these shareholder-friendly initiatives," stated Richard Moore, Chief Executive Officer of First Bancorp. "As a result of high levels of earnings, the Company's capital position has increased significantly and provided us the opportunity to increase the dividend rate and to consider share repurchases if they are believed to be beneficial to shareholders."
First Bancorp is a bank holding company headquartered in Southern Pines, North Carolina, with total assets of approximately $6.1 billion. Its principal activity is the ownership and operation of First Bank, a state-chartered community bank that operates 101 branches in North Carolina and South Carolina. First Bank also provides SBA loans to customers through its nationwide network of lenders – for more information on First Bank's SBA lending capabilities, please visit www.firstbanksba.com. First Bancorp's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "FBNC."
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