Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

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. “

Separately, BidaskClub raised Southern First Bancshares from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, September 13th.

NASDAQ SFST traded up $0.68 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $39.50. The stock had a trading volume of 10,797 shares, compared to its average volume of 14,318. Southern First Bancshares has a 52-week low of $27.33 and a 52-week high of $41.99. The company has a market cap of $289.92 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.72 and a beta of 0.98. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $39.27 and a 200 day simple moving average of $37.47. The company has a quick ratio of 1.03, a current ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20.

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 2nd. The bank reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.93. Southern First Bancshares had a return on equity of 13.94% and a net margin of 25.39%. The firm had revenue of $20.63 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $20.63 million. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Southern First Bancshares will post 3.35 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Southern First Bancshares news, CFO Michael D. Dowling sold 2,357 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.08, for a total transaction of $141,608.56. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO R Arthur Seaver, Jr. sold 10,700 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.00, for a total value of $406,600.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 65,891 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,503,858. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 20,907 shares of company stock valued at $863,550 in the last three months. 10.51% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SFST. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC purchased a new position in Southern First Bancshares during the second quarter worth $2,921,000. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC increased its position in Southern First Bancshares by 129.5% during the second quarter. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC now owns 113,931 shares of the bank’s stock worth $4,462,000 after buying an additional 64,284 shares in the last quarter. Banc Funds Co. LLC increased its position in Southern First Bancshares by 11.2% during the second quarter. Banc Funds Co. LLC now owns 625,625 shares of the bank’s stock worth $24,499,000 after buying an additional 62,871 shares in the last quarter. Castine Capital Management LLC increased its position in Southern First Bancshares by 29.4% during the second quarter. Castine Capital Management LLC now owns 245,404 shares of the bank’s stock worth $9,610,000 after buying an additional 55,722 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Southern First Bancshares by 4.9% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 398,092 shares of the bank’s stock worth $15,589,000 after buying an additional 18,521 shares in the last quarter. 73.73% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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.

Featured Article: Market Perform

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Southern First Bancshares (SFST)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Receive News & Ratings for Southern First Bancshares Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Southern First Bancshares and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.