BidaskClub Lowers Southern First Bancshares (SFST) to Sell

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) was downgraded by stock analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Monday, February 4th.

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on SFST. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $40.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Saturday, January 26th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Southern First Bancshares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 7th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $40.00.

Shares of SFST opened at $36.98 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $291.31 million, a PE ratio of 21.01 and a beta of 0.89. Southern First Bancshares has a fifty-two week low of $27.33 and a fifty-two week high of $48.75. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.49, a quick ratio of 1.07 and a current ratio of 1.07.

Southern First Bancshares (NASDAQ:SFST) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 22nd. The bank reported $0.75 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.03. Southern First Bancshares had a net margin of 22.71% and a return on equity of 11.76%. Equities research analysts anticipate that Southern First Bancshares will post 2.84 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, President F Justin Strickland sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.00, for a total value of $195,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the president now owns 57,813 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,254,707. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director David G. Ellison acquired 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 20th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $30.90 per share, with a total value of $30,900.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 41,728 shares in the company, valued at $1,289,395.20. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 10.90% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Ramsey Quantitative Systems raised its holdings in Southern First Bancshares by 25.7% during the 4th quarter. Ramsey Quantitative Systems now owns 1,489 shares of the bank’s stock worth $48,000 after purchasing an additional 304 shares during the last quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY grew its position in shares of 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 worth $78,000 after buying an additional 1,895 shares during the period. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 55.4% during the 3rd quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC now owns 5,314 shares of the bank’s stock worth $209,000 after buying an additional 1,895 shares during the period. Bessemer Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 810.0% during the 3rd quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 9,100 shares of the bank’s stock worth $358,000 after buying an additional 8,100 shares during the period. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers grew its position in shares of Southern First Bancshares by 43.4% during the 4th quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 9,787 shares of the bank’s stock worth $314,000 after buying an additional 2,961 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.24% 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 certificates of deposit.

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