Southern First Bancshares (SFST) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) from a sell rating to a buy rating in a report published on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $48.00 price target on the bank’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Greenville First Bancshares, Inc. is the holding company for Greenville First Bank, N.A., a national banking association chartered under the laws of the United States. “

A number of other analysts have also weighed in on the company. ValuEngine lowered Southern First Bancshares from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 14th. FIG Partners reiterated an outperform rating and issued a $42.00 target price (up previously from $40.00) on shares of Southern First Bancshares in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Southern First Bancshares from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Saturday, August 12th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $41.00.

Shares of Southern First Bancshares (SFST) opened at $41.60 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $304.47, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.90 and a beta of 0.74. Southern First Bancshares has a 52-week low of $31.40 and a 52-week high of $43.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36, a current ratio of 1.04 and a quick ratio of 1.03.

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The bank reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.53 by $0.02. Southern First Bancshares had a return on equity of 11.10% and a net margin of 21.10%. The business had revenue of $15.85 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.22 million. analysts anticipate that Southern First Bancshares will post 2.03 EPS for the current year.

In other news, President F Justin Strickland sold 1,250 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.00, for a total transaction of $48,750.00. Following the transaction, the president now owns 62,889 shares in the company, valued at $2,452,671. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Michael D. Dowling sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.29, for a total value of $169,160.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 28,007 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,184,416.03. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 12.85% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 19.1% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 22,203 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $822,000 after buying an additional 3,564 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 2.1% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 188,062 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $6,140,000 after buying an additional 3,958 shares during the period. New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 169.1% during the second quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 8,592 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $318,000 after buying an additional 5,399 shares during the period. OxFORD Asset Management LLP purchased a new position in shares of Southern First Bancshares during the second quarter valued at $312,000. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its stake in Southern First Bancshares by 40.2% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 11,692 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $432,000 after purchasing an additional 3,350 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.12% of the company’s stock.

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About Southern First Bancshares

Southern First Bancshares, Inc is a bank holding company that owns the capital stock of Southern First Bank (the Bank), a South Carolina state bank, and all of the stock of Greenville First Statutory Trust I and II (the Trusts). The Bank is a commercial bank with approximately nine retail offices located in Greenville, Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina.

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