Zacks: First Bancshares Inc (FBMS) Given Average Rating of “Strong Buy” by Brokerages

First Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:FBMS) has received an average broker rating score of 1.00 (Strong Buy) from the two analysts that cover the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a strong buy recommendation.

Analysts have set a one year consensus target price of $43.50 for the company and are expecting that the company will post $0.63 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned First Bancshares an industry rank of 156 out of 255 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on FBMS shares. BidaskClub cut First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 26th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, August 6th. ValuEngine cut First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Finally, Stephens restated a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of First Bancshares in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th.

Shares of FBMS opened at $37.68 on Friday. First Bancshares has a 12-month low of $29.75 and a 12-month high of $43.53. The firm has a market cap of $457.70 million, a P/E ratio of 21.41 and a beta of -0.19. The company has a current ratio of 0.87, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30.

First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 23rd. The bank reported $0.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.61 by $0.01. First Bancshares had a return on equity of 10.34% and a net margin of 16.09%. The firm had revenue of $26.74 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $26.48 million. As a group, analysts predict that First Bancshares will post 2.26 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 23rd. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 7th will be paid a $0.05 dividend. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.53%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 6th. First Bancshares’s payout ratio is 11.36%.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. IFP Advisors Inc bought a new stake in First Bancshares in the third quarter valued at $114,000. Barclays PLC lifted its stake in First Bancshares by 91.2% in the first quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 3,421 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 1,632 shares during the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in First Bancshares in the second quarter valued at $202,000. Hartford Investment Management Co. bought a new stake in First Bancshares in the second quarter valued at $204,000. Finally, Harbor Advisors LLC bought a new stake in First Bancshares in the second quarter valued at $204,000. Institutional investors own 66.95% of the company’s stock.

About First Bancshares

The First Bancshares, Inc operates as the holding company for The First, A National Banking Association that provides general commercial and retail banking services. The company operates through three segments: Commercial/Retail Bank, Mortgage Banking Division, and Holding Company. It offers deposit services, including checking, NOW, and savings accounts; other time deposits, such as daily money market accounts and longer-term certificates of deposit; and individual retirement accounts.

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