Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

First Bancorp ($FBNC) - An Attractive Regional Bank

|Includes: First Bancorp (FBNC)

First Bancorp is a holding company that operates First Bank which is regional bank headquartered in North Carolina. $FBNC operates 86branches in three States: 73 branches in North Carolina, 6 branches in South Carolina and 7 branches in Virginia.

I like the banks footprint. North Carolina has the 9th largest population by State while Virginia has the 12th largest. Not to mention the Carolinas have been experiencing very aggressive economic growth when compared to their sister States. In addition, North Carolina is a banking State with many of the top regionals/nationals competing for business. I especially like the latter point as consolidation in this region will be/stay important to be competitive.

Turning to the bank's financials, the bank pays an annual dividend of 2% which is nothing to brag about. However, it currently trades at a P/E of 12.54 and a P/B of .97 which are reasonably low given its size (80+ branches and about $3.2 billion in assets).

My real attraction to this bank is its acquisition history. From 2000-2011, the bank made 14 acquisitions which included several FDIC assisted acquisitions of troubled banks. It is nice to see a bank that made acquisitions during the last downturn to pickup assets on sale.

Lastly, Wellington, Basswood, CastleCreek and Blackrock all have sizeable positions in the bank.

Disclosure: The author is long FBNC.