Southern First Bancshares (SFST) Lowered to Hold at Sandler O’Neill

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) was downgraded by investment analysts at Sandler O’Neill from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, The Fly reports.

Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Southern First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 28th. ValuEngine cut shares of Southern First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 7th. BidaskClub raised shares of Southern First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 24th. Finally, FIG Partners reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Southern First Bancshares in a research note on Wednesday, May 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $47.00.

Southern First Bancshares opened at $46.95 on Tuesday, according to MarketBeat Ratings. Southern First Bancshares has a fifty-two week low of $33.25 and a fifty-two week high of $48.75. The company has a current ratio of 1.05, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27.

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, April 24th. The bank reported $0.67 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.61 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $16.46 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $15.91 million. Southern First Bancshares had a net margin of 20.43% and a return on equity of 10.19%. equities analysts forecast that Southern First Bancshares will post 2.72 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Southern First Bancshares news, CEO R Arthur Seaver, Jr. sold 9,983 shares of Southern First Bancshares stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.90, for a total value of $468,202.70. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Michael D. Dowling sold 3,000 shares of Southern First Bancshares stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.04, for a total transaction of $141,120.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 35,432 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,666,721.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 19,144 shares of company stock valued at $894,484 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 10.90% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 8.8% in the 1st quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 13,511 shares of the bank’s stock worth $601,000 after buying an additional 1,096 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 26.1% during the 4th quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 11,100 shares of the bank’s stock worth $458,000 after purchasing an additional 2,300 shares during the period. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY purchased a new position in shares of Southern First Bancshares during the 4th quarter worth about $100,000. Martingale Asset Management L P boosted its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 32.1% during the 4th quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 10,702 shares of the bank’s stock worth $442,000 after purchasing an additional 2,600 shares during the period. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG boosted its stake in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 7.2% during the 4th quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 41,622 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,715,000 after purchasing an additional 2,808 shares during the period. 70.35% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Southern First Bancshares Company Profile

Southern First Bancshares, Inc operates as the bank holding company for Southern First Bank that provides various banking products and services to general public in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. It accepts various deposit products that include checking accounts, commercial checking accounts, savings accounts, and other time deposits, including daily money market accounts and certificates of deposit.

The Fly

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