First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “The FIRST BANCSHARES, INC., headquartered in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is the parent company of The First, A National Banking Association. The First is now ranked in the top twenty banks by asset size in Mississippi. The First has operations in Hattiesburg, Laurel, Purvis, Picayune, Pascagoula, Bay St. Louis, Wiggins and Gulfport, Mississippi. The Company and its subsidiary bank engage in a general commercial and retail banking business characterized by personalized service and local decision-making, emphasizing the banking needs of small to medium-sized businesses, professional concerns and individuals. The products and services offered by the bank include deposit services, loan products, mortgage loan divisions and other services. “

FBMS has been the topic of a number of other reports. BidaskClub lowered First Bancshares from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Saturday, January 18th. DA Davidson started coverage on First Bancshares in a report on Wednesday, October 9th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $36.00 price objective on the stock. Stephens reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $36.00 price objective on shares of First Bancshares in a report on Thursday, December 19th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, December 13th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. First Bancshares presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $37.00.

Shares of FBMS stock traded up $0.11 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $33.98. The stock had a trading volume of 64,700 shares, compared to its average volume of 80,975. The business’s fifty day moving average is $34.38 and its 200-day moving average is $32.74. The company has a current ratio of 0.91, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45. The firm has a market cap of $637.04 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.48 and a beta of 0.34. First Bancshares has a 1-year low of $28.07 and a 1-year high of $35.88.

First Bancshares (NASDAQ:FBMS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 21st. The bank reported $0.72 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.74 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $41.02 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $38.37 million. First Bancshares had a net margin of 24.93% and a return on equity of 10.38%. On average, analysts forecast that First Bancshares will post 3.08 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Chairman E Ricky Gibson sold 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.00, for a total transaction of $198,000.00. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 96,918 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,198,294. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 4.27% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC grew its holdings in First Bancshares by 206.6% during the third quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 791 shares of the bank’s stock worth $26,000 after acquiring an additional 533 shares during the period. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC grew its holdings in First Bancshares by 320.0% during the fourth quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 840 shares of the bank’s stock worth $30,000 after acquiring an additional 640 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can purchased a new position in First Bancshares during the second quarter worth approximately $42,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank purchased a new position in First Bancshares during the fourth quarter worth approximately $59,000. Finally, Meeder Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in First Bancshares during the third quarter worth approximately $107,000. 58.18% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

First Bancshares Company Profile

The First Bancshares, Inc operates as the bank 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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