The First Bancorp’s stock closed at $27.23 per share on December 31, 2017, down from $33.10 a year ago. With dividends reinvested, our 2017 total return was -14.70%. While the price performance of our stock over the past year has been a disappointment, we continue to nicely outperform the broad market over a three-year period, with a total return of 68.7%, as compared to the S&P 500 which had a three-year total return with dividends reinvested of 38.3%, as well the Russell 2000, in which we are included, with a three-year total return of 32.9%. We have also outperformed the banking industry over the past three years, with total returns for The First Bancorp over the period exceeding both the 50.1% of the KBW Regional Bank Index and the 58.4% of the Nasdaq Bank Index.
Click here for a table presenting historical information about The First Bancorp.
The First Bancorp not only has a strong earnings history, it also has a long-term record of sharing earnings with its shareholders. For many investors, cash dividends have become increasingly important given the mixed equity returns seen in the broad market during recent years and the favorable tax treatments that cash dividends receive.
During the fourth quarter of 2017, the Company declared a cash dividend of 24 cents per share, the same as the Company paid the past two quarters. We continue to pay our quarterly dividend because of the importance of this to the majority of our shareholders. Our dividend payout ratio for the fourth quarter 2017 was 51.06%. Based on the December 31, 2017 closing price of $27.23 per share, our annualized dividend yield was an attractive 3.53%.
Click here for a table showing quarterly and annual historical information about The First Bancorp dividends.
Over the past ten years, net income for The First Bancorp has increased $4.9 million, from $13.1 million in 2007 to $18.0 million in 2016. The Company's total assets grew nearly $0.5 million, during the period.
It is the result of a clear and focused strategy - opening new branches accompanied by organic growth within our established branch offices. In 2005, this growth was accelerated through the acquisition of FNB Bankshares of Bar Harbor, Maine, which added nearly $230 million of assets to The First Bancorp.
Click here for a table presenting historical information about The First Bancorp from 1966 to 2017.
Historical prices represent the year-end closing price, while Adjusted Prices reflect the effect of stock splits.
The information presented in this table has been compiled from historical resources and is believed to be accurate.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Statistics prior to 1985 are for The First National Bank of Damariscotta, while 1985 and after are for The First Bancorp.