Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) Raised to “Buy” at BidaskClub

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) was upgraded by stock analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday, June 7th, BidAskClub reports.

Several other analysts have also issued reports on SFST. Zacks Investment Research lowered Southern First Bancshares from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 27th. FIG Partners reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Southern First Bancshares in a research note on Thursday, May 16th.

Shares of NASDAQ:SFST traded down $0.36 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $38.80. 20,119 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 18,295. The stock has a market cap of $291.23 million, a PE ratio of 13.47 and a beta of 0.93. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a current ratio of 1.05. Southern First Bancshares has a 12-month low of $27.33 and a 12-month high of $47.20. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $36.28.

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 23rd. The bank reported $0.78 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $18.81 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $18.40 million. Southern First Bancshares had a return on equity of 13.52% and a net margin of 25.13%. As a group, research analysts forecast that Southern First Bancshares will post 3.1 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Southern First Bancshares news, Director Leighton M. Cubbage sold 1,270 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.01, for a total value of $45,732.70. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 84,227 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,033,014.27. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 10.51% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Ramsey Quantitative Systems increased its position in Southern First Bancshares by 25.7% during the 4th quarter. Ramsey Quantitative Systems now owns 1,489 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $48,000 after buying an additional 304 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its position in Southern First Bancshares by 609.8% during the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 1,448 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $49,000 after buying an additional 1,244 shares in the last quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY increased its position in Southern First Bancshares by 355.5% during the 4th quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 2,428 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $78,000 after buying an additional 1,895 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new stake in Southern First Bancshares during the 1st quarter valued at $148,000. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers boosted its stake in Southern First Bancshares by 43.4% during the 4th quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 9,787 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $314,000 after purchasing an additional 2,961 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.24% of the company’s stock.

About Southern First Bancshares

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 long-term certificates of deposit.

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